The Adventures of Shola by Bernardo Atxaga

The Adventures of Shola

Written by Bernardo Atxaga
Illustrated by Mikel Valverde

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Winner of the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, awarded biennially since 1996, was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English and published in the UK. It aims to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers.

Translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece. Shola is surely one of the most irresistible characters in children’s books! The outside world sees a small, white dog but Shola thinks she is much more than that, nothing less than a highly cultivated creature, with the world at her feet. Her long-suffering companion (don’t ever call him her owner) Senor Grogo puts up with this very patiently, for the most part anyway: Shola’s refusal to admit to any mistake occasionally, and understandably, provokes an outburst! The mismatch between Shola’s staunch self-belief and reality produce all sorts of comic situations in the four different stories contained in this volume. Everyone will have their favourite Shola moment – maybe when she decides she’s really a lion, or when she leads a pack of hunting dogs after wild boar in the mistaken belief that boar are just like sheep, only bigger. Her delight in language entertains too, there’s nothing she likes more than using words like ‘obligation’ or ‘discombobulate’. Thoroughly charming, Shola deserves to be much better known. ~ Andrea Reece

Marsh Award Judges' comment: ‘this is a delightful book which can be enjoyed by anyone as it is full of humour, for young people and adults alike. There are delightful characters with very real personalities and some truly philosophical moments throughout. This is such an accessible text, made up of stories which are so satisfying to read aloud and the wonderful translation really makes the story come alive for a new audience.’”


The Adventures of Shola by Bernardo Atxaga

Small dog. Big dreams. Shola is a little dog with attitude. Frustratingly for her, she loves both comfort (mainly in the form of food) and adventure (in theory, at least), and spends much of her time trying to decide between the two. Whether she is faced with the possibility that she may really be a lion or the prospect of a boar-hunt, with eccentric American visitors or insufferable country bumpkins, Shola is not afraid to pursue her dreams ...up to a point.

Lovingly and revealingly illustrated by Mikel Valverde, these four stories in one volume are a treasure-trove of amusement which cannot fail to cheer the reader.


Shola is a charming, short creature stuffed with charisma and fierce ideas, and so is the book about her Bookbag

Charming, funny and heart-warming stories, beautifully packaged and affectionately and cleverly illustrated Lancashire Evening Post

First Spot, then Snowy and now Shola - children's literature has an illustrious history of plucky S-name canines... Mikel Valverde's illustrations are, like the best of cartoon strips, wittily and expressively detailed -- Fiona McKim Junior

The most clever and ridiculous dog you've ever heard of ... fantastic -- reader's review
Guardian Children's Books

Fabulous... the illustrations are superb and humorous... the storyline is very engaging and will make you laugh your socks off and spread a grin on your face Guardian Kids Books

Translated from the Basque by Margaret Jull Costa and lavishly illustrated by Mikel Valverde, these gently ironic stories about another small dog whose aspirations regularly outrun her abilities are totally charming Independent

A short, sweet, and entertaining story... truly lovely illustrations and some wonderful wordplay-derived humour The Book Wars

A charming, witty, spirited collection of stories about the exploits of an irresistibly characterful little dog -- Daniel Hahn PEN Atlas

About the Author

Bernardo Atxaga (Joseba Irazu Garmendia, b. 1951) is an award-winning Basque writer, whose work spans adult and children's prose, poetry, radio, cinema and theatre, as well as short stories. He first achieved national and international fame with Obabakoak (1988), which won the National Literature Prize 1989 and has been translated into more than twenty languages. His novels have won critical acclaim in Spain and abroad; most recently, Margaret Jull Costa's translation of Seven Houses in France was shortlisted for the 2012 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

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Book Info


220 pages


Bernardo Atxaga
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Pushkin Children's Books

Publication date

10th October 2013




Publisher Profile

Pushkin Children's Books is an imprint of Pushkin Children's Books


Pushkin Children's Books was launched in 2013 to share tales from different languages and cultures with younger readers, and to open the door to the wide, colourful worlds these stories offer. From picture books and adventure stories to fairy tales and classics, and from fifty-year-old bestsellers to current huge successes abroad, the books on the Pushkin Childrens list reflect the very best stories from around the world, for our most discerning readers of all: children. Twitter @PushkinPress

Publisher's Website

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