By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘Willing To Share’
Tel Aviv-based literary agent and children’s books specialist Stephanie Barrouillet of S.B Rights Agency points us to two titles she says “reflect current trends in children’s book publishing—books on wars/conflicts/immigration on one hand and books on emotions, on the other.”
These are two of the most important books, Barrouillet says, that she’s representing this spring as she prepares for Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 3-6).
Sin Agua y Sin Pan (Without Water and Without Bread), the author of which, Luis Amavisca is also the founder of Ediciones Nube Ocho (Cloud Eight). The press characterizes itself as “a publishing house committed to values and diversity.”
“It’s a powerful book,” Barrouillet says, “about immigration and how different groups interact with each other. And it’s told from the point of view of children.
“One group has bread, the other group has water and between them there’s a fence. While the adults aren’t willing to share, the children naturally swap bread for water and even start playing ball over the fence.”
Amavisca, Barrouillet tells Publishing Perspectives, “has written several books about equality, solidarity, environment, and non-violence. “
Amavisca’s imprint was established in Spain, in 2011, and exhibited at Bologna for the first time in 2015. Its representatives also regularly are at BookExpo in New York City and Mexico’s Guadalajara International Book Fair.
In material about the publishing house and its content, the company writes, “Our books promote respectful attitudes towards all types of diversity. They are also a playful medium to make it easier to engage in first experiences and feelings that the little ones may not easily understand.”
Some of Nube Ocho’s most recent releases include Candy Pink, which is about stereotypical expectations of “how girls should look and act” and Bang Bang I Hurt the Moon, which has to do with gun violence.
Illustrator Guridi’s books have been published in the US, France, Germany, Italy, and Lebanon. And Amavisca, in speaking with Alba Moraleda for El Pais, talks of how differently he sees the reactions of children to displacement and adversity: “”Children are shocked how their parents act,” he says. “They understand reality in a different way, they see everything simpler and maybe things are that way, easier.”
At this writing, Barrouillet lists Korean, Italian, and UK/US English rights being already sold for Sin Agua y Sin Pan.
To ‘Understand and Then Control Emotions’
“It’s a wonderful and spot-on guide to emotions,” says Barrouillet, “that intends to help children—and parents—identify, understand and then control emotions.
“Each spread focuses on a specific emotion and a specific event that would cause this emotion.
“For example, the little girl feels disappointed, having been looking forward to going swimming, only to find that today there’s a ‘No Swimming Allowed’ sign.
“The book was edited with the support of psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik.”
Author Cécile Langonnet is a clinical psychologist for children and teenagers.
She was born in Provence in 1975 and was attracted to words from a young age. She studied literature and then after teaching for a while she decided to focus on people’s development in their psychic dimensions.
Illustrator Soufie Régani is a graphic designer and is passionate about the universe of children’s literature and, Barrouillet says, feels that she never really left childhood.
At this writing, the SB Agency catalogue reports that Italian Rights to Les Emotions have been sold.