Translations by Lyn
In addition to writing my own books, I translate from Portuguese and Spanish into English. I started out translating song lyrics for a bilingual radio program on WRPI and now translate picture books, novels for children and teens, and scholarly articles in the social sciences. My picture book translations have received numerous accolades, and I’m always looking for new books to bring to English-language readers.
The World in a Second, first published in Portugal as O Mundo Num Segundo, was my debut translation. Through large-format illustrations and concise text, it portrays the many events that take place at the same moment around the world. Depicting 23 different places, some of which are named while others are represented through clues only, the book invites us into routines, habits, cultures, and landscapes that reflect our diversity as well as our similarities. A world map at the back of the book helps fit the pieces together by locating each illustration in place and time.
Martins, Isabel Minhós. The World in a Second. Illustrated by Bernardo L. Carvalho. Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Brooklyn, NY: Enchanted Lion Books, 2015. ISBN 978-1-59270-157-5, $18.95 hardcover.
“[a] mesmerizing vision of a thrillingly expansive world” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Each moment leaps to life with vividly colored illustrations that spread across two pages and capture time and place with remarkably evocative detail and varied, exquisite composition….The central magic of this book lies in the sophisticated, elaborate treatment of an idea that sounds like it was plucked from a child’s daydream.” — Boston Globe
“A work of art, with much potential classroom usage” — School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books of 2015
Boston Globe Best Children’s Books of 2015
CCBC Choices, 2016
First published in Brazil in 1987 as O Menino Que Aprendeu a Ver, and now in its ninth edition in Portuguese, Lines, Squiggles, Letters, Words is the story of Pedro, a wide-eyed child who looks out at the world with curiosity and pleasure, finding it endlessly surprising. But there is mystery too, as in the puzzling pictures he sees, made up of elusive lines and squiggles. When Pedro starts school, his great curiosity grows even greater with each letter he learns. Suddenly his world is changing, as the lines and squiggles become letters and words.
Rocha, Ruth. Lines, Squiggles, Letters, Words. Illustrated by Madalena Matoso. Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Brooklyn, NY: Enchanted Lion Books, 2016. ISBN 978-1-59270-208-4, $16.95 hardcover.
“Rocha’s text is marvelously child-centered, never leaving Pedro’s perspective and realistically evoking the way letter acquisition turns nonsense into sense for most children. Matoso’s striking, posterlike illustrations use a limited palette of, mostly, red, pink, blue, black, and olive, allowing figures and patterns to occasionally merge with negative space, visually reinforcing the mental gymnastics involved in deciphering letters, her awareness of environmental print as keen as Pedro’s.” — Kirkus Reviews
“a smart, thoughtful chronicle of learning in action” — Publisher’s Weekly
2017 USBBY Outstanding International Books
CCBC Choices, 2017
The author and illustrator are Italian, but The Queen of the Frogs was first published in Portugal as A Rainha Das Rãs. When a mysterious crown falls into a pond, the little frog who finds it is instantly pronounced the queen. But when her royal subjects start to question her authority, she must prove she’s fit to rule — if she can.
Cali, Davide. The Queen of the Frogs. Illustrated by Marco Somà. Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8028-5481-0, $16.00 hardcover.
A Children’s Book Council “CBC Hot off the Press” title
Three Balls of Wool (Can Change the World) is a story that is very dear to me. Published in Portugal as Com 3 Novelos (O Mundo Dá Muitas Voltas), it’s based on actual events and follows a family that escapes the dictatorship in Portugal in the late 1960s, seeking freedom and a better life. Their journey takes them to Communist Czechoslovakia, where “all children go to school.” But while the children go to school, people don’t have freedom of choice or the right to speak their minds. Refusing to accept a life without freedom, the mother gets to work, turning a bleak reality inside out and upside down. In the end, these refugees spark a movement for change in their community.
Cristina, Henriqueta. Three Balls of Wool (Can Change the World). Illustrated by Yara Kono. Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Brooklyn, NY: Enchanted Lion Books, 2017. ISBN 978-1-59270-220-8, $16.95 hardcover.
“a quiet and sensitively observed look at a family’s efforts to stay safe in uncertain times.” — Publishers Weekly
“gently introduces the trauma of exile to young readers and can lead to discussions and, hopefully, a better understanding of being uprooted….A timely story of refugees and the strength of individuality over conformity.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Loosely inspired by the experiences of real families fleeing dictatorship only to find continued oppression under Communism, this modern fable presents a hopeful twist by showing how art can inspire hope and change. The first person narration is direct, balancing a child’s understanding with the heavy topic. . . . [The illustrations] create lovely cohesion between plot and art. VERDICT: A good choice to provoke discussion about freedom and oppression with older readers.” — School Library Journal