I've translated Japanese picture book into English before, and
I could recall that with a happy memory.
Postscript by the translator Aya Iwamoto
I met this book "How Smudge Came", when my book "Yumetsumugu-Aya"
(Spinning Dreamer Aya) which was written in collaboration with my
mother, had just been published, and I was unwinding from writing.
When I opened a parcel, I found a letter of translation request and
picture book in it.
I was so surprised that I couldn't believe for a moment. Even though it was my first experience to translate the English picture book into Japanese, I really enjoyed it.
The story doesn't say that Cindy is a woman with Down Syndrome. I don't think it's a big deal, as long as we will know it naturally. It seems like to me that children now is having a difficulties to live with a pure and affectionate heart like Cindy. Everybody has walls. But I believe that children will regain the pure heart, when they realise that their affectionate heart will break down walls. I wish this book will make children's hearts gentle.
My Picture Book
I first saw "MAGIC CANDY DROP" in March this year.
The pictures are very expressive, and the light colors are gentle
to children's eye. I thought they were very cute.
Also, the story was fun.
I think that children, by nature, have a desire to become bigger
or smaller, and there are a lot of works, in both Japanese and other countries'
literatures, in which the hero or heroine has an adventure involving becoming
bigger or smaller. Some examples from foreign literature are Jonathan Swift's
Gulliver's Travel (on which I presented my graduation thesis), Lewis Carroll's
Alice in Wonderland, The Giant with the Red Socks (Le geant aux chaussetes
rouges, which I studied in my French class), etc. A couple of Japanese
fairy tales in this genre are "Issunboushi" and" Hachiro".
I think that children can get into such stories easily because they have
dreams of becoming bigger or smaller, and MAGIC CANDY DROP is the same
type of story.
After my April talk in Nagasaki, Dr. Yukihisa Matsuda asked me to translate this book of his into English. I was both eager and uneasy with the idea of doing my first English translation of a fairy tale. I have only a beginner's English, but I decided to accept the challenge and try to make my dream come true.
Mrs. Masayo Ohara, who does beautiful watercolors, listening to my
English, said, "I want to learn English, too." I didn't know
until then that the students in some special education schools for handicapped
children don't have English classes.
I really think that Down's syndrome children and handicapped children
should be able to enjoy English picture books from an early age, and I
translated this book into easy English with this desire in mind.
If children all over the world read this translation of MAGIC CANDY DROP, I will be very happy.
I deeply grateful for the patient assistance of Professor Carl. R.
Mantzel of Shigakukan University in translating this book.
Finally, I would like to express my gratidude for Dr. Yukihisa Matsuda's
giving me the chance to do translation of this picture book.
8.15.1999 I hope peace will come to the whole world.
MAGIC CANDY DROP
by Yukihisa Matsuda
illustrated by Yasuko Kuroda
Story by Nan Gregory
How Smudge Came
Pictures by Ron Lightburn
1999.10.30(First edition), 2001.1.30(second)
Translate from English into Japanese
by Aya Iwamoto
Postscript by the translator
ｐｕｒｓｕｉｎｇ my dream
2001.6(First edition), 2001.10(second), 2002.7(third)