2019 Batchelder Award Announced

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award, presented by the ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association – honors the U.S. publishers of outstanding books in translation published during the preceding year. It’s been around for a while, but I’ve been regrettably slow to the kid-lit party, so intend to make up for lost time with some overdue posts (like recruiting Sara Lissa Paulson to write about indie kid-lit publishers). The Batchelder Award winner, as announced today at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle is:

The Fox on the Swing, published by Thames & Hudson, Inc., written by Evelina Daciūtė, illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė, and translated from the Lithuanian by The Translation Bureau

I’m not sure if “The Translation Bureau” is the cute name of a translators’ collective somewhere or whether it just means that this was an in-house job done by someone at Thames & Hudson whose work on the winning book was merely uncredited. Well, certainly there are a lot of works out there translated by Anonymous. Is this typical in the children’s book publishing world? Please leave a comment if you know how it works.

I do note that the translators are credited for all four books that received an honorable mention for the award this year:

  • Run For Your Life, published by Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books, Inc., written by Silvana Gandolfi, translated from Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  • My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, published by Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., written and illustrated by Nie Jun, and translated by Edward Gauvin
  • Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure, published by NorthSouth Books, Inc., written by Torben Kuhlmann, illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann, and translated by David Henry Wilson
  • Jerome By Heart, published by Enchanted Lion Books, written by Thomas Scotto illustrated by Olivier Tallec, and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson

For more information about the winning books and the prize (including past winners from 1968-2018), please visit the Batchelder Award page on the ALSC website.

And congratulations to all the translators of the books selected for this honor (named or not)!

Update: I’m told the winning book was indeed translated in-house, by the Lithuanian publishers working together with the Thames & Hudson editorial team.

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