This month, with so many families home together and everyone craving comfort, we present an issue of international children’s literature. From ageless witches to teenage cliques, in settings ranging from Fascist Italy to the contemporary Middle East, the writers here offer characters and themes both fantastic and familiar. Pietro Albì’s village child is bedeviled by a surprising apparition. Sachiko Kashiwaba delivers a twist on a fairy tale trope. Hooda El Shuwa’s teenager finds a magical solution to a very real conflict, and Sandrine Kao sits in on lessons in combatting racism. Justyna Bednarek’s young boy marvels at his neighbor’s wonderful invention, while Angelika Glitz catches up with a granny who trades her walker for a forklift. And in a story reflecting what we’re all longing for now, Maria Parr’s preschooler reminds us of the restorative power of hugs. Children’s literature expert Daniel Hahn guest edits and introduces these stories for readers of all ages.