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Cultural Nuances Of The U.S. & Italy

Peli Can Surf

A Tale of Resilience and Translation Adventure

This article invites you to dive into the enchanting world of “Peli Can Surf” by Eric Noel Muñoz, a captivating book that explores the bravery of a young pelican. It is also my incredible journey of translating this empowering story from English into Italian. This article will shed light on the remarkable experience of being the translator, alongside the young and talented Andrea Colombo, an 8-year-old collaborator who brought a unique perspective to the translation process.

Peli Can Surf
Peli Can Surf

The Plot of “Peli Can Surf”

The heart of the narrative revolves around Peli, a courageous young pelican who defies societal expectations and boldly embraces her deformity, refusing to let bullies determine her capabilities. Peli’s  story becomes a beacon of hope and inspiration for children facing challenges, encouraging them to rise above adversity. Whether it’s excelling in sports or cultivating self-confidence despite physical limitations, the book serves as a guiding light, inspiring readers to navigate life’s challenges with resilience.

A Translation Adventure Unfolds

Severino Ricci & Andrea Colombo
Severino Ricci & Andrea Colombo

The translation of “Peli Can Surf” from English to Italian became more than a linguistic task—it became an exhilarating adventure.

The collaboration with the young prodigy Andrea Colombo added a layer of creativity and freshness to the process.

Andrea, at the tender age of 10 (in 2023), infused the translation with a childlike wonder and sincerity that brought out the true essence of Peli’s story.

Working hand in hand, Andrea embarked on a journey to ensure that the Italian version captured the spirit and authenticity of the original narrative.

Andrea’s youthful insights not only enriched the translation but also provided a unique perspective that resonates with young readers.

Peli’s Message of Empowerment

“Peli Can Surf” transcends the realms of a typical children’s book; it becomes a vessel for empowerment and self-discovery. Peli’s resilience and determination send a powerful message to readers of all ages, teaching them to embrace their uniqueness and face challenges head-on. The story becomes a source of motivation for those navigating the complexities of life, offering a roadmap to overcome obstacles with courage and humility.

Surfing into Authenticity

Eric Noel Muñoz
Eric Noel Muñoz

Author Eric Noel Muñoz, a Carlsbad surfer, infuses the story with an authentic surfing experience, immersing readers in the world of wave riding.

Muñoz’s background in surfing adds a layer of genuine lingo and passion to the narrative.

He creates a connection between Peli’s journey and the vast, adventurous world of surfing.

Illustrating the Sea’s Spirit

Bonnie Bright, Illustrator
Bonnie Bright, Illustrator

The vibrant illustrations by Bonnie Bright breathe life into Muñoz’s words, capturing the essence of the sea and the surfing culture.

Bright’s colorful depictions stem from a personal connection to the ocean, having grown up in Malibu, where she indulged in activities like paddling, snorkeling, and playing volleyball.

Her illustrations not only complement the narrative but also evoke a deep sense of the sea’s spirit.

Bonnie is a 20+ year professional artist, animator, art director and team leader. Explore her blog here.


“Peli Can Surf” transcends language barriers, thanks to the collaborative efforts I had with the young Andrea Colombo. This translation journey brings the empowering tale of Peli to Italian readers, spreading the message of resilience, bravery, and the boundless possibilities that come with embracing one’s uniqueness. The fusion of surfing authenticity and captivating illustrations ensures that Peli’s story leaves an indelible mark on readers of all ages.

by Severino Ricci


You might also be interested in:

A Conversation with Eric Noel Muñoz, author of “Peli Can Surf”

Stand, Walk, Surf, Repeat! Beyond limits

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