On the sidelines of Sharjah International Book Fair, Kalima translation project, affiliated to the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), published a triple-part series of children's literature translated from German.
The series includes three titles: “Geschichten vom Franz” (Tales of Franz), “Neue Fussballgeschichten vom Franz” (New Tales of Franz with Football), and “Pferdegeschichten vom Franz” (Tales of Franz and Horses). The series was written by German writer Christine Noestlinger and was translated into Arabic by Viola Al-Rahib.
Franz leads a happy life, but he sees that he has three problems; the first is that he is shorter than his peers; the second is that when excited he talks very loudly; and the third is Gabi, a stubborn girl who always wants to do what she likes, and when Franz does not obey her, she gets angry and seething and then no one can talk to her for fear that she would be hostile towards them if they did not do what she wants.
The first book "Tales of Franz" consists of three stories about Franz. In the first story, he tries to prove to others that he is a boy, not a girl. This already happens, but in a spontaneous and humorous way. He is six years old, but many people think he is four years old because of his small body. Many others think he is a girl, perhaps because of his crinkly golden hair, blue eyes, red cherry-like lips, and rosy round cheeks. Most people think that those qualities are of young beautiful girls. Another story tells us about him when he gets sick and stays at home in the care of his brother, but the brother does not take care of him well. In the last story, the occasion of Mother Day comes and Franz exerts every effort to present his mother a nice gift.
In the second book "New Tales of Franz with Football", Franz quits the football team of boys after they agreed that he is weak and can not participate in difficult games, something which saddens him a lot. However, Gabi convinces him to join the soccer team of girls. Although he feels embarrassed for joining the team of girls, he agrees to continue to play football that he loves so much. Thanks to Franz, the team of girls beats the team of boys. So, his classmates seek to get him back to their team again.
The third book of the series, "Tales of Franz and Horses", talks about Franz’s sudden interest in horses. He has learnt much about horses in a very short time since Gabi became obsessed with horses. It reached the point where he claimed that he can ride horses. However, the lie was about to be exposed, as Gabi started to prepare for horse riding courses to ride with Franz, and he has to show her his horsemanship skills. So, he resorts to his grandmother for help.
This series of tales about Franz was written by German writer Christine Noestlinger, one of the most famous writers of children's stories in Germany. She also works for radio, television and the press. Noestlinger was born on 13 October 1936 in Vienna, Austria. She lived her childhood and her youth with her parents and her older sister in Vienna in the period after World War II. She published around a hundred of children's books, which were translated into more than 20 languages. She won many awards, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1984 for her overall works. The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the most important international award in the field of children's books.
Translator Viola Al-Rahib was born in Bethlehem in Palestine in 1969. She studied education in Germany. She worked in the field of teaching in Jordan and Palestine. Now, she lives and works in Vienna, Austria. She wrote several books in German.