A Dugong Goes Abroadby Linda Chambers on 05/06/15
This is part of the article "Routes Across Language Barriers, Part 1" in the Independent Book Publishers Association website. Posted on March 2015.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Routes Across Language Barriers, Part 1
I have self-published books of poetry and prose for children.
My latest book, Pons and the Miracle of Réunion Island, is a chapter book for intermediate readers and has recently been translated into French.
When the English version was released last year, a journalist from R.union Island contacted me and asked many questions about the central character, a dugong named Pons. Because the dugong is on the international endangered species list, the journalist was interested in how I came to write about the wonderful sea creature and to choose R.union for the setting. Over the course of several e-mails he asked if I would consider having the book translated to French so that the children on his island as well as in Madagascar could read about Pons.
Also at that time, I was talking with Patricia Davis from EDGE and C-3, which are conservation organizations dedicated to saving the dugong in the Indian Ocean as well as sea life around the world. Patricia created a brochure for me to use when I send out copies of my book to young readers. And the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) gave permission to use their “Adopt a dugong” campaign in another brochure.
In light of all of this I thought it a good idea to bring the book to children outside the United States, particularly those who live in the region of the Indian Ocean where French is the first language.