The Golden Cage is a deliciously dark European fairy tale, with a story as rich as its luxurious illustrations. First published in Dutch in 2014, The Golden Cage is written by the Italian author Anna Castagnoli, illustrated by the Flemish artist Carll Cneut and translated into English by Laura Watkinson.
[The above image is a mock up of the English language edition.]
Since we've hit our stretch goal of £5000, we can now offer every backer who selects a reward one of these gorgeous eco tote bags with Carll Cneut's artwork from the cover of the book:
WHY THERE IS A NEED FOR THIS BOOK
Here at Book Island, our core mission is to make stunning picture books from around the world accessible to English-speaking readers through translation.
This internationally-acclaimed example of European literature has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Flemish Culture Prize and White Ravens Award, and was also nominated for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. It has been translated into many languages, but never into English, so we’ve asked award-winning translator Laura Watkinson to translate this story for Book Island.
This European fairy tale tells the story of Valentina, a very spoilt princess who lives in the Emperor’s palace.
She’s obsessed with collecting rare and exotic birds and sends her servants on long missions to find them from around the world.
Now, she is determined to find a talking bird to fill her special golden cage. Servant after servant loses their head for coming back empty handed.
That is, until one day a mysterious young man claims he can fulfil Valentina’s impossible request…
The audience for this book is very broad. This story will particularly appeal to slightly older children, who crave more mature plots and writing styles – and appreciate more luxurious and layered illustrations, and adults. As well as this, European editions of The Golden Cage have been popular amongst illustrators, lovers of art, and bird enthusiasts, of course.
WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO UNIQUE?
· Size – it is larger than most picture books published in the UK (see below for specs and images).
· Length – the story counts more words than the average picture book in the UK, with more pages too.
· Design – the book’s title is stunningly debossed in gold leaf on the cover.
· Themes – The Golden Cage is a deliciously dark fairy tale in the old tradition of European fairy tales, making it appealing to both older children and adults.
· Characters – we’re particularly thrilled to add another strong-minded, female protagonist to our list of picture books.
WHAT MAKES OUR CAMPAIGN EXTRA SPECIAL?
Not only will we be publishing the long-awaited English translation of the book, but we are the first to have the rights to produce high-quality giclée (archival) prints from the book.
THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BOOK
· Hardcover · Four colour print · 56 pages (instead of the standard 32) · 340 x 260 mm – 13.4” x 10.2” · Printed on high-quality, uncoated cream paper · Gold leafing and debossing applied on the cover and spine
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
This type of book is very popular in Europe, but difficult to find in the UK as the market has a large emphasis on mass production and less on high-quality, thought-provoking picture books. Given how unique this book is to the UK market, we need your support. This is our most ambitious project yet, but we are confident that with your help, we can make this stunning picture book accessible to English-speaking readers.
By backing this Kickstarter, you will help us make The Golden Cage available in the UK and beyond. In return, we have created special rewards for everyone who loves sophisticated picture books, beautiful artwork – and birds.
The rewards below are all of the different items, available in varying combinations in the reward tiers. For a quick overview of these reward combinations, see the images below.
1. Hardback copy of The Golden Cage
2. Giclée print (A2 or A4) With regards to the A2 prints, you will be able to select from 4 different illustrations. You won’t need to decide until the campaign has successfully ended, and we will then send you a questionnaire.
3. Eco tote bag
4. Picture book sets (English Language Pre-School Pack, Dutch Language book pack, English Language pack aged 4+, Carll Cneut pack),
5. One of Carll’s original drawings for the book
We will be sending regular updates from the Kickstarter page. Please make sure they don’t end up in your spam folder as these messages will contain important information about shipping etc.
!!!! You can only select one reward tier per Kickstarter account. If you wish to combine several rewards, then please email email@example.com to discuss !!!!!
When pledging, please remember that we won’t be able to see your name until the campaign has ended on 25 April, unless you create an account on Kickstarter (takes only 20 seconds).
Your credit card won’t be charged until after the campaign, so please make sure you have sufficient funds to avoid disappointment.
Once you’ve selected your favourite pledge option and your location, Kickstarter will calculate the shipping cost for you. It’s as simple as that!
Shipping from the UK can be expensive. The shipping costs provided are the lowest Royal Mail prices we could find. Please bear in mind that tracking is not included. If you wish to track your parcel, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about the options and additional cost.
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD
It would be amazing if you could help spread the word about this Kickstarter by:
· Sharing the image below anywhere on your social media
· [Important] Including the link to our Kickstarter page : https://bit.ly/2U6qDr4
· Tagging Carll Cneut, Anna Castagnoli and Laura Watkinson and @bookisland(books), as well as the hashtag #KickstartTheGoldenCage
· Keeping an eye out for us on social media and letting us know what you think
· Telling your friends about the campaign – tag them and tell them all about us
The print files are nearly ready to be sent to our printers in Latvia. We just need to hand letter some of the translated copy in the book. All printed copies are expected to arrive in the UK by the end of May at the latest, which is when we will start with the fulfilment part of the job. We will aim to have all rewards delivered by the end of June at the latest.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
MORE ABOUT CARLL’S WORK
Carll Cneut is a renowned Flemish illustrator, who has illustrated over twenty picture books. This isn’t the first time we’ve worked with him. We previously published Witchfairy, illustrated by Carll and written by Brigitte Minne (translated by Laura Watkinson), in 2017, to high acclaim. In the UK, it was nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal 2019 and it is currently being adapted for a play. You can see more of Carll’s work here and our video interview with him about Witchfairy here.
MORE ABOUT ANNA CASTAGNOLI
Italian author and illustrator Anna Castagnoli was raised in France and lives in Barcelona. Collecting antique illustrated books inspired her to delve deeper into children’s literature. Her first picture book appeared in 2004. Anna works for publishers in Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. She also reviews picture books for magazines and databases.
MORE ABOUT LAURA WATKINSON
Laura Watkinson has translated over 70 titles from Dutch, Italian and other languages, into English. Her translations have won many international awards. For Book Island, she has translated 5 titles so far including Witchfairy, Sir Mouse to the Rescue, Bernie & Flora and Little Wise Wolf (all from Dutch to English).
ABOUT BOOK ISLAND
Book Island is an independent, award-winning publishing house known for its wide range of high-quality picture books from around the world. It's run from Bristol, UK, by Greet Pauwelijn, and a handful of freelance professionals. For the past seven years, it’s been Book Island’s mission to increase diversity in picture books through publishing in translation.
This Kickstarter campaign wouldn’t have been possible without the help of these amazing people:
Also with thanks to bensound.com for providing the soundtrack used in our video.
We would like to acknowledge the co-funding we have received from Creative Europe to fund this ambitious and costly project as well as the support we have been receiving from Flanders Literature since the very beginning of Book Island in 2012.
Interested in our other picture books? Here's the entire BOOK ISLAND BACKLIST:
Risks and challenges
This is not our first Kickstarter campaign. Last year, we successfully Kickstarted 'Mum’s Jumper' by Jayde Perkin. This project was a great success and all parcels were sent out on time. 'The Golden Cage' will be Book Island’s 35th picture book, so we know what we’re doing! We work with a very reliable printer in Latvia who we have a great relationship with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)