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Language barrier comes down as authors present prizes

A Swansea author and illustrator couple have delighted children thanks to a competition run by Swansea Council’s libraries service.

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Husband and wife team Helen and Thomas Docherty offered a number of their picture books as prizes – and 12 winners have now received a book each.

The signed books – in Turkish, French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian and Polish – were translations of works that were first published in English.

The competition was aimed at children who regularly speak foreign languages at home.

To be in with a chance of winning, the children had to first take out at least five books from Swansea Central Library.

Author Helen said: “Libraries are the best places to discover new books, so it’s a real pleasure for us to be able to give these foreign language copies of our books away through Swansea Library, and encourage families to visit the library at the same time.

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“It’s lovely to know that Swansea children will be enjoying our books in these different languages.”

Young prizewinner Aziz Khallyev with a book by Helen and Thomas Docherty. 
(Image: Swansea Council
Young prizewinner Aysenur Buyukertaz with Helen and Thomas Docherty. 
(Image): Swansea Council

Illustrator Thomas said: “We have more of our picture books to give away in other languages as well: Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Serbian and Slovenian.

“Anyone in Swansea who speaks any of these languages at home should visit a community library to be in with a chance of winning one of those books!”

Council cabinet member Elliott King said: “We thank Helen and Thomas for offering their books as prizes.

“The range of languages helps illustrate what a wonderfully diverse city we live in.

“It’s great to see children getting such joy out of reading.”

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The prizewinners – all aged under 12 – come from around Swansea.

Titles given as prizes included The Snatchabook, The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, Abracazebra and The Screen Thief.

Other books by the couple include Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune and Pirate Nell’s Tale to Tell.

Swansea Libraries plan to hold another competition with the couple in the coming weeks.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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