(written by Ali Seidabadi, Persian editor at Tiny Owl)
On my first trip to Europe, on the train that took me from Frankfurt Airport to my hotel, I felt anxious listening to the voice that announced the names of the stations in German. I thought maybe my anxiety was due to the fact that it was my first trip abroad and a result of such concerns as not knowing the language.
My hotel was far from downtown, in a wooded area, and there were trees all around it. From the window of my hotel room I saw workers constructing a building. I was tired and went to bed early. The next morning, the sound of a loudspeaker woke me. Again a wave of anxiety washed over me. I rushed towards the source of the sound and saw the construction workers from the window as they were going to work. It was then that I deciphered why I felt anxious and frightened when I heard German on a loudspeaker.
When I was a teenager, Iran was in war and, as a result, there were many movies about the resistance movement in WWII on television. In these films, especially the ones that occurred in concentration camps, the angry Nazi officers spoke in German though the rest of the movie was dubbed.
Even though the works of many German writers, poets, and philosophers are translated and published in Persian and I had read the works of many German writers and some German philosophers, yet my audio-experience of the German language was limited to those war movies that I had seen in my adolescence.
When I realized this, my anxiety and fear disappeared and were replaced by a different kind of knowledge of that country, obtained through books.
I have read books by Erich Kästner, Michael Ende, Christine Nöstlinger, Otfried Preußler, and Gudrun Pausewang. Recently I have discovered a new author from this country, called Annette Langen, and my son and I enjoy reading her Letters from Felix. When I thought of these writers and their fiction, I had a nice feeling.
It was some time around then that I learned about the enterprise of this publishing company. It was the right time for me as it happened just after my strange experience. I believe that such enterprises are not only extremely important in children’s literature, but their social impact is also significant