Books for little-big problems

Picture books are great fun in themselves, but when they also help to encourage children towards a practical skill, then the book becomes twice as desirable. And which parent of young children hasn’t struggled to get them past that last, sometimes seemingly unattainable, milestone: not wetting the bed at night

That is precisely what Merlin Publishers’ newest picture book, Vjoletta, is about. Translated into Maltese by Loranne Vella from the original Spanish text by Abril Calero, Vjoletta is the story of a girl who has all the best intentions not to wet her bed, only to wake up each morning finding wet sheets. 

Being a not so tiny girl, she is embarrassed at this, especially since her mum hangs the bedsheets out to dry each morning in the garden, for all to see. She tries and tries, but each night is so deeply entwined in her vivid dreams that she doesn’t wake up. Until one day, her grandmother turns up at their doorstep with a special gift, that could just be the one to do the trick.

Vjoletta is gorgeously illustrated in bright, dreamlike colour by Catalan artist Monsurós. Each page has been carefully put together, blending words and illustration to make this book a treat to the eyes. 

Loranne Vella’s translation captures all the nuances and poetry of the original and brings it to a Maltese audience, proving yet again that beautiful stories have no language boundaries.

This book, ideal for children aged 7-9 but that can be comfortably read to even younger children by a parent or relative, is a must-have for all parents who’d like to storytell their children out of the bedwetting habit.