Anders Sparring on The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist and books for kids in translation

The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist by Anders Sparring. Book cover and author photo.
We are delighted this month to be sharing a quirky, witty illustrated tale with our Parakeet subscribers, a book that has been translated from Swedish and published by one of our favourite independent children's publishers, Gecko Press. The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist is both thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny, with a brilliant cast of quirky characters. Here author Anders Sparring tells us about the translation process and which Swedish books in translation he recommends you read next.

What inspired you to writeThe Pinchers and the Diamond Heist?

The inspiration for the Pinchers family is to tell fun crime-stories from the thief’s point of view. The Diamond Heist is a story about lying; Theo can’t lie, and this story really challenges that side of his character. We also wanted to make a heist-story, but I don’t know how heist-y the story actually became. 

Are any of the characters or events based on real people or experiences?

The character Theo is totally based on my own experiences of not being able to lie or steal anything. As a child I felt sick as soon as anything like that - for example, shoplifting - came up as a possible activity among my friends.

Which character was the most fun to write and why?

The funniest is Ellen. She is a do-er, she make things happen.

Can you tell us anything about what will happen next to Theo and his family?

Oh yes – new problems emerge, especially for Theo, when a new police officer comes to town. He wants to confiscate Sherlock, the dog, unless the Pinchers can prove they didn’t steal him. And when Theo start searching, he can’t find the receipt for Sherlock anywhere…

Were you involved in the translation process? What were the challenges?

Normally, we don’t know a word in the languages our books are translated into, so there is not much we CAN do or say. Our translators often ask us for specifics, such as the names and the jokes that are hidden within them. The process of translating The Pinchers into English was a bit different.  I actually read the whole book through and gave some notes (but not too many). The translation was really good, even the first time I read it.

Why did you choose to write books for this age group?

I don’t know. It just suited me really well. I suppose that I was always meant to write for children aged 5 to 11!

Do you have a favourite place to write?

At home on my sofa, with one of the dogs sleeping on my lap.

Which other Swedish books for younger readers that are available in English would you recommend our subscribers read next?

I would recommend ANYBODY to read the books by David Sundin that were recently published in England. The first one is called The Book That Did Not Want to be Read. They are SUPER FUNNY!

Copies of our The Pinchers and the Diamond Heist pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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