Close collaboration and the importance of literary prizes
When Jenny ultimately, decided to start her own company, it all went very fast, probably because she already had a pretty elaborate plan about what she wanted to do. The name of the publishing company, Mirando, means to see or wonder/marvel. The name reflects the core idea behind the company’s publications. The images are in focus and Mirando publishes both original and translated picture books, preferably by internationally renowned authors and illustrators.
– There are so many exciting picture books that never reach the Swedish children’s-books market. For example, there is an incredible tradition of storytelling and illustration art in East Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Taiwan, says Jenny.
A couple of publications that Jenny is very proud of are Taiwanese Jimmy Liao’s picture books Stjärnenatt (The Starry Starry Night), Skogens hemligheter (Secrets in the Forest) and Färgernas ljud (The Sound of the Colors). Liao is one of Asia’s most popular children’s-books author, and was among the nominees for 2016’s ALMA prize, or Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s largest children’s books award. Mirando has also translated and published the picture book Sabelles röda klänning (Sabelle’s red dress) by the Cypriot author Marina Michaelidou-Kadi and the Greek illustrator Daniela Stamatiadi, a book that was awarded the Peter Pan-prize in 2016. The book is translated from Greek by the Swedish journalist Alexandra Pascalidou, who also has written the foreword.
– I searched for children’s books that depicted the theme of emigration and escape from one’s country, in an empathetic and strong, artistic way. The book is about a girl’s encounter with a new country, a new language and new people, after being forced to leave her childhood home, close family members and friends, says Jenny.
Jenny gladly searches for new illustrators and authors who have touched her emotionally in some way, for example through exciting motifs, tone of voice or interesting subject matters. People, whom she later works closely with, based on a certain idea. The graphic novel Din tur, Adrian (Your turn, Adrian) – with text by Helena Öberg and illustrations by Kristin Lidström, is one example of that. Together, they depicted the subject dyslexia and created a tale of deprivation, where imagination had the force of change. In 2015, the book was nominated for the August-prize.
– The media attention that these nominations and prizes offer means a lot when you are a small, newly established publisher. It also means that the readers get a bigger chance to discover the books, and on top of that, it’s a quality stamp, says Jenny.