Isadora Moon is international!

A few days ago OUP kindly sent me copies of the French and American versions of Isadora Moon. Having quite a collection now, I thought it was time to blog about some of the interesting differences between the international releases.

Covers of all my foreign editions of Isadora Moon
Covers of all the foreign editions of Isadora Moon I’ve received so far
Isadora’s padre es un vampiro

It’s so strange seeing something familiar you’ve created written in words you don’t recognise. For most of the versions though, there are a lot of similarities in the words. ‘Vampire’, for example, doesn’t change much:

  • Vampire – French
  • Vampiro – Spanish
  • Fampir – Welsh
  • Vampier – Dutch
  • Vampyr – Danish
  • Upírka / upíra  – Slovak
Isadora Moon foreign editions slogans
The Isadora Moon slogan on different foreign editions

Okay, for that last one I’m less sure that word is vampire, as there are two different versions of the word. ‘Víla’ also  appears, which I think is ‘fairy’, but could be ‘vampire’ if they changed the order of the tag line like some versions have.

I tried to check with Google translate, but it didn’t recognise the word on its own, so I tried pasting in a blurb from Here’s what it spat out:

Cover of the Slovak foreign edition of Isadora Moon
The Slovak foreign edition of Isadora Moon (Izadora Lunova)

Mummy has a vampire and a vampire’s father, and she has got everything from everything. He adores the night, the bats and the black ballet skirt, but he does not even allow the sun rays, magic balls and pink bush.

The Slovak edition is interesting as it’s the only one I’ve been sent which changes my name: Harriet Muncasterová.

It’s also one of three which changes Isadora’s name:

  • Izadora Lunová – Slovak
  • Annalisa Swyn – Welsh
  • Isabella Maan – Dutch
Mr. Grapefruit

Speaking of name changes, I was interested to see how the name of this character changes in the different foreign editions of Isadora Moon Goes to School:

Monsieur Pamplemousse, the fairy school teacher
Monsieur Pamplemousse, the fairy school teacher

In the original English version, I called him Monsieur Pamplemousse, or ‘Mister Grapefruit’.  Given that his name was French in the original version, I wondered how they would handle his name for the French version. ‘Mon professeur, c’était Mister Grapefruit’? Actually, they changed his name entirely to Monsieur Brilletout, which roughly translates to Mr. All-shines. 

In Welsh he is Mistar Mostyn. I couldn’t find a translation for this, except that Mostyn is a village in Wales. The Danes kept the French Pamplemousse, while in the Netherlands he was translated to meneer Pompelmoes, making him literally ‘Mister Grapefruit’ in their native language. The Spanish edition similarly calls him Monsieur Pommelón, so they kept the French title, but gave him the Spanish equivalent of ‘grapefruit’ for a surname.

Monsieur Pamplemousse in different foreign editions
Monsieur Pamplemousse in different foreign editions

The Slovak version stuck with the fruit theme, naming him monsieur Pomaranč, but this translates to Mr. Orange. Meanwhile, the American publishers asked for an alternative name entirely, so I suggested Mr. Sparkletoes. 

Isadora Moon goes trans-Atlantic

Of all the foreign editions, the American edition, despite still being in English, made the most changes. They’re the only ones so far to go with a completely different cover design for Isadora Moon Goes Camping, and to change up the slogans. All the other editions have ‘half vampire, half fairy, totally unique!’ across all editions. But Random House New York reversed the order of ‘fairy’ and ‘vampire’ on Isadora Moon Goes to School, and used ‘Magic in the great outdoors’ for Camping. They also used different fonts on the cover to the other countries, especially for my name. Oh, and of course they added an extra colour to the pink and black: yellow for School and bluey-green for Camping

Isadora Moon American foreign editions covers
Covers for the American foreign editions of Isadora Moon… with added colours
Isadora Moon visits the Land of the Rising Sun

Last up are the Japanese editions. I can’t say much about changes to word choices here as I can’t even begin to read the text! These feel like properly foreign editions. One thing I did notice about them is, like the American edition, these books are numbered from one to four. These are the only two foreign editions to make Isadora Moon into a numbered series. However, apart from Isadora Moon Goes to School introducing the characters and how Isadora Moon met her human friends, the stories all stand alone and can be read in any order. I wonder if it’s because the Japanese are used to serialised Manga novels?

Covers of the Japanese foreign editions of Isadora Moon
Covers of the Japanese foreign editions of Isadora Moon

Anyway, I love the way these look with the Japanese text, and I love the soft shiny slip-covers these foreign editions come in.  Of course, what I love most of all is that so many people around the world now have the chance to enjoy something I’ve created. It seems that Isadora Moon really has gone international!

To read more about the different Isadora Moon check out my books page , or you can buy copies of the English version (and most of the translations) from Amazon.

Foreign edition Isadora Moon spines
All my foreign editions stacked up!


  1. Veronika Fričová

    July 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Hello, Mrs. Muncaster,
    I am the translator of the Slovak version of Isadora Moon. After reading your blog, I thought you might be interested in me explaining some of the translation solutions in the Slovak translations of your books.
    — The word “vampire” can be translated as “upír” (used to describe a male vampire) or “upírka” (used to describe a female vampire). The Slovak language is an inflected language, i. e. the endings of most nouns change depending on the grammatical gender, number, or the grammatical case of a particular word. For example the word “upíra” is basically a declined form of the word “upír” (male vampire).
    — The translation of the word “fairy” is “víla”, you guessed that one right :-).
    (Ew, the google translate version of the back cover is a disgrace. It isn’t written so poorly in Slovak, I swear! :D).
    — Another cultural thing is the gender inflection. In Slovak, we usually add the suffix “-ová” to female surnames. So for example we say “Angela Merkelová” or “J. K. Rowlingová”, not Angela Merkel or J. K. Rowling :-). That’s why we changed your surname as well.
    — We decided to change Isadora’s name because the word “Moon” evokes certain images in the minds of English readers and we wanted to evoke the same images in the minds of Slovak children. The word “Moon” can be translated as “Mesiac”, or, more poetically, “Luna”. “Lunová” is again the female (inflected) form of the surname “Luna”.
    — What about Monsieur Pamplemousse? When translating children’s literature, we tend to change foreign names which are difficult to pronounce for something less challenging. That’s why we changed the French word Pamplemousse for the Slovak word Pomaranč, although it has a slightly different meaning (that is, orange, as you correctly stated). We were thinking about a version with “grapefruit” (this word is the same in English as well as in Slovak), but we simply liked the “Pomaranč” version better. 🙂
    I hope that my explanations are clear enough, it’s quite difficult to explain some of the changes to people who don’t speak Slovak. If there are other things you are interested in, feel free to contact me. I loved every page of Isadora Moon and I was so happy that I could introduce her to the Slovak children!

  2. Harriet

    July 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Only just saw this! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a detailed response, and for helping to bring Isadora Moon to Slovak speakers. I’m glad you enjoyed working with her. I only included the Google translate blurb because it was so bad! It shows why we don’t leave translations of creative works to robots. It’s so interesting to see the little changes to stories that get made for different cultures, so thanks for clearing those up. All the best, Harriet.

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