I’ve been collecting kids books translated into Spanish for more than twenty years. Sure, there are book stores everywhere in the world, books sold in airports, books sold at gas stations. I quickly noticed that most books are for adults, or for very very young children. I met Simon Rose, a children’s book author, at Chapters recently, and he tells me its completely up to the publisher whether a book will get translated into another language. I understand the economics of it, publishers will print books that will sell. If it sells well, it will get another printing. So thank you to the movie industry and the publishers for pumping out those massively popular series of books for children and young adults that are so prolific, keep up the great work!

I sincerely hope to drive up demand for children’s books in other languages with the work I’m doing. I have almost 1000 books in my English corpus, and I’ve got several hundred I’ve acquired in Spanish by those same authors. I’m basing my language collocation research where possible on comparing apples to apples.

Where do I find my books? I’ve had the most luck with amazon. Every trip I make to the US I get books delivered to my hotel, and it’s like Christmas morning every time. I get very excited to find children’s e-books on amazon, and it’s getting more and more common to find the books I’m looking for. Why? I haven’t asked amazon or the publishers, but it’s not a big leap to theorize that once it’s translated, it doesn’t cost nearly as much to print it and distribute it. There are still loads of books that I can only find paper copies of, and often I have to put my super-sleuth hat on to find them in used book stores online, because they are out of print. In the meantime, I’m adding my library of the books I’ve found in Spanish to the Spanish library on this site as I find them, so you can find them too. I’m getting creative, when I can’t find classics first printed in the 1970s or 1980s, I’ll find books have been written since that have similar themes or genres, that have stood on the shoulders of those giants. I still get pretty excited when I find those out of print books though…it’s like running into a friend you haven’t seen in a dog’s age in the grocery store, that pleasant surprise that brightens your day and brings an instant smile to your face.

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