A la Recherche du Bonheur/In Search of Happiness, and it's illustrated by an award-winning French artist, Eric Puybaret. You may have encountered his rendering of Puff The Magic Dragon.
I'm more than a little nervous at the idea of reading somebody else's translation of my story, so for the moment I'll just look at the cover. It's the same as the French one, but hey! they've added both our names on it! Thanks, Hammond!
This is encouraging. Let's have a peep inside. Of course, all the pictures are the same, and the story seems to be all there, but... where is my hero? where is Manoug? He seems to be gone, replaced by one Alexander. Okay, why not? It's a surprise, though.
Let's see what else has changed.
And this is when I realise I'm the person the least qualified to judge this new incarnation of my book. It's got nothing to do with the translator's job (Andrew Weller). That's fine. But as I read his words, I keep hearing mine and thinking: but where's this rhyming bit? And the rhythm there isn't quite the same, is it? Well of course it isn't! Had I done the translation, I would have played around with the text much more than Andrew did. But it wouldn't have been a translation so much as a rewriting and that wasn't Andrew's mission.
So, really, what I need is for you to read this book and tell me what you think. Here's a (non-exclusive) list of adjectives to choose from: great, superb, splendid, fantabulous, amazing, awsome, unputdownable, unputaside-able, marvelous, magnificent, wow. That's all for the pictures, of course! ;o)
Here are a few more, just to celebrate. Enjoy!