The Emma Press has acquired English-language rights to two Latvian titles and one Estonian title. For the Latvian titles, they received a grant from the Latvian Writers’ Union (Latvijas Rakstnieku Savienība) and Latvia’s Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.
All three books will be presented at the London Book Fair, and will be published later in 2018.
Publisher Emma Wright bought the UK English language rights to Latvian title Mākoņu grāmata (The Book of Clouds), which is a collection of children’s poetry and notes on cloud-watching, written by Juris Kronbergs, and illustrated by Anete Melece.
Wright also bought UK English language rights to the Latvian title Kaiju karalienes noslēpums (The Seagull Queen’s Secret), written and illustrated by Rūta Briede. This is a picture book with crossover appeal: the original Latvian edition won the 2017 International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Childrens’ Literature and Book Art for the best debut. A stage adaptation premiered on 4th March 2018 at the Latvian National Puppet Theatre.
Wright bought rights for both titles from liels un mazs, a leading Latvian children’s publisher which was recently shortlisted for the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year (Europe). Jelena Budanceva, program director at the Latvian Writers’ Union, said: ‘We are happy about all the interest from British publishers for Latvian children’s literature. We are especially grateful to the Emma Press for their individual approach to each author and title and for the amazing extra materials they add to our publications.’
The third deal is for the UK English language rights to Kõik on kõige targemad (Everyone’s the Smartest). This is a collection of children’s poetry about school by Estonian children’s author Contra and illustrator Ulla Saar. Wright negotiated directly with the illustrator and writer for the rights.
- The Book of Clouds is translated by Māra Rozīte and Richard O’Brien, and will be published in May 2018.
- The Seagull Queen’s Secret is translated by Elīna Brasliņa and published as Queen of Seagulls in May 2018.
- Everybody’s the Smartest is translated by Kätlin Kaldmaa and Charlotte Geater, and will be published in September 2018.
Publisher Emma Wright said: ‘I’m delighted to be bringing these fantastic titles to an English-speaking audience, particularly in this special year for the Baltic countries. I’m also proud to have assembled a team that is capable of managing the many challenges of publishing children’s poetry in translation.’