The English may say, 'Where there's a will there's a way,' and the Japanese, 'A concentrated mind pierces even a rock', but the meaning is clearly the same; 'Too many boatmen sail the boat up the hill' may be the same as the English, 'Too many cooks spoil the broth', but the Japanese version has a delightful absurdity about it which is illustrated in Kathryn Lamb's witty cartoon. These and many more proverbs and sayings feature in Where There's a Will There's a Way, which joins the family of six other bilingual illustrated proverb books, devised in 1985 by Primrose Arnander and the late Ashkhain Skipwith: three in Arabic, and one each in Italian, French and Chinese. Each title in the series gives the proverb in its original (and where the scripts are different, provides the original script and its transliteration), the literal translation and the English equivalent. They are not intended as weighty works of scholarship, but rather as a source of entertainment. They make the perfect gift, as well as being useful to language students, whatever their native tongue. The cartoonist Kathryn Lamb has brought her skills to all seven titles.
Primrose Arnander lived for 12 years in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Trained as a classical musician, she extended her activities, whilst an expatriate, and became a dealer in 19th century prints and maps, as well as chairing the Jeddah Community Library. It was in Jeddah, in the mid-eighties, that the idea for illustrated bilingual proverb books was born. Ritsuko Nishimae studied cultural anthropology at university and is a qualified psychotherapist. After living in America, Canada and London, she returned to Japan with many insights into the cultural contrasts between East and West. She met Primrose in London in 2012.