By Claude Ponti

Translated from the French by Alyson Waters

From Claude Ponti (My Valley, 2017), one of France’s most celebrated children’s writers, comes a tender and playful tale of what it means to be unique.

When he is born, Hīznobyūtī is not exactly handsome. In fact, his parents and siblings say, “He’s no beauty!” They say it so often, Hīznobyūtī assumes that it is his name. Wherever he goes, only embarrassment and shame await him. Hīznobyūtī hides himself away, working on his inventions, until one day he receives a message from the stars. After a fight with his family, Hīznobyūtī decides to run away. On a beautiful adventure by himself, he learns the secrets of the universe: how to communicate with trees and birds, how to wake up the sun, and how to see himself for who he truly is – a hero!

Published: May 22, 2018


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Alyson Waters is the translator of My Valley by Claude Ponti, in addition several works from the French by Albert Cossery, Louis Aragon, René Belletto, and many others and has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund grant, and residency grants from the Centre National du Livre and Villet Gillet in Lyon. She teaches literary translation in the French department of Yale University and is the managing editor of Yale French Studies. She lives in Brooklyn.

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