By Daphne Abeel
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BEDFORD. N.Y. — In September, children’s book author Talene Dadian White will add two new titles, The Three Little Karmeegs (The Three Little Pigs) and Voski and the Archoogians (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) to her series of Armenianized traditional tales, which includes Little Red Hood and the Kesh Kayl (Little Red Riding Hood), The Gurabia Man (The Gingerbread Man) and Hagop and the Hairy Giant (Jack and the Beanstalk).
As the titles indicate, White has interpolated Armenian words for English words and she has done that throughout the texts. Thus the grandmother in the Little Red Riding Hood tale becomes Medz Mayreeg and the cow in Hagop in the Hairy Giant becomes gov. The Armenian words are printed in italic script and there is a little dictionary at the back of each book that gives the translation.
White, who was trained as a lawyer at City University in New York, and is the mother of two children, ages 4 and 8, said, “When I started to look for good children’s books in Armenian, I couldn’t find very much, and so I had this idea of taking traditional children’s stories and giving them an Armenian flavor.”
The books, printed in paperback with laminated, waterproof covers, are illustrated in such a way that they emphasize the Armenian approach to the stories. The characters, almost without exception, have dark, deep-set eyes and are dressed in Armenian peasant fashion.