I’m very pleased that Enchanted Lion Books in Brooklyn have recently published my translation of Truus Matti’s fine story Mister Orange, about a young boy, Linus, and his friendship with the artist Mondrian. Set against the backdrop of WWII, it’s a wonderful tale about art and life and about growing up and finding your place in the world.
There have already been a number of positive reviews of the book, and I think Truus’s tale deserves to find a large audience among younger readers.
Kirkus described the book as “a poignant story of art, growth and loss”.
Library Review gave it a “highly recommended” and called the book “a well-written, quick read about family & friendship”.
Carolyn Phelan in Booklist noted that “children’s novels translated from other languages are rare in the U.S., but even more uncommon are those with an American setting. A Dutch writer whose Departure Time (2010) was a Batchelder Honor Book, Matti offers a compact middle-grade novel that is involving and informative. Written with clarity and simplicity, this accessible book features deftly drawn characters and a nuanced view of family life on the American home front, as well as insights into Mondrian’s personality and paintings. An original.”
Publishers Weekly also reviewed Mister Orange, saying that Matti “draws an exceptionally sensitive portrait of introspective Linus and his understanding of what war is and what it does to its victims” and describing the story as “served well by Watkinson’s graceful translation”, which was very nice to hear. They finish by saying, “It’s a quiet novel, but a deeply touching one.”
Well done, Truus Matti, Enchanted Lion and illustrator Jenni Desmond. This is definitely a recommended read!
Author: Matti, Truus
Translator: Watkinson, Laura
Publisher:Enchanted Lion Books
Price (Hardcover): $16.95
Publication Date: January 14, 2013
ISBN (Hardcover): 978-1-59270-123-0