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Multilingual is Normal Book

We did it! We published the Multilingual is Normal book, an anthology of sixty voices, talking about talking, in just one month from launch on 10th July to publication day on 10th August 2020!

This was my first foray into book publishing, and I learned absolutely loads about the process of pulling a printed work together. It was wonderful to get such a positive response to the call for submissions in July, and straightaway I could see that we would have far more than the 30 snippets I had originally hoped to achieve. In the end, we created an anthology with 223 pages of wordy wisdom and woe!

Reading through the submissions, which people sent from all over the world, was an incredibly moving experience. As you might know, I'm from a very un-multilingual bit of English countryside and was late to the multilingualism party. And it turns out, I'm not the only latecomer! Several contributors felt similarly shy about declaring their love for multilingualism, having grown up 'just...

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Babel Books: Tomorrow

babel books Aug 15, 2018

It seems appropriate to be writing a review of Nadine Kaadan's wonderful story Tomorrow on the eve of the release of the English translation.

Written and published in Arabic in 2012, this beautiful picture book tells a sad tale of how the lives of children in Syria changed once the war started to ravage their home towns. Yazan is no longer able to go outside and play with his friends, and he is fed up of being stuck in the house with his parents who have got the news on the television turned up too loud.

His mother, who once painted pictures with him, now just sits glued to the screen. So Yazan takes matters into his own hands: he goes outside. What could possibly go wrong?

I first encountered this story at our Singing for Syrians fundraising event in February 2017 and felt very strongly that it needed to be published in English. Nadine's illustrations are incredibly moving. Through her use of colour and shape she shows how oppressive daily life has become for families, whilst...

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