Iranian picture books at the International Children's Library

I found a new site this morning-- the International Children's Library, where I spent more time than I probably should have browsing through the pages of beautiful, strange, disturbing, and intriguing (in various degrees) of children's picture books published recently around the world. The mission of the ICL is to make books available in digital form in all the languages in which they were written, the idea being that children learn to read best in their mother tongue. The website seems to have last been updated in 2006, but it is still a treasure trove of multicultural reading potential. Or at least picture browsing, for foreign language impaired folks like myself.

A few days ago I posted about the US government's massive export of translated English language books into Arabic speaking countries, and so I looked to see what books Islamic countries are publishing themselves. Here are a few that caught my eye:

Abraham, by Mostafa Rahmandoust, illustrated by Hafez Miraftabi (1383).

I think this one looks especially gorgeous: Autumnals, by Mostafa Rahmandoust illustrated by Bahram Khaef (1380). It's a collection of poems. I wish I could read it.

The Adventure of Ahmad and the Clock by Feresteh Ta'erpoor, illustrated by Mehrnoush Ma'soumian (1365).

None of these show up on Amazon, so I'm assuming they haven't been published in English. A great pity, because what better way to appreciate/get to know/wonder at/be puzzled by other cultures than to read their own stories?

Coincidently, there's a discussion of multi-cultural children's books over at Chicken Spaghetti going on right now...

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