Mildred L. Batchelder Award

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Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Awarded for "the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States"
Country United States
Presented by Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association
First awarded 1968
Official website ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/batchelderaward

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award, or Batchelder Award, is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the year's "most outstanding" children's book translated into English and published in the U.S.[1][2]

It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the children's division of ALA, and conferred upon the U.S. publisher.

The award is named in honor of Mildred L. Batchelder, former director of the ALSC.[2] One of her stated goals was "to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations, and languages."

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is unusual in that it is given to a publisher yet it explicitly references a given work, its translator and author. It seeks to recognize translations of children's books into the English language, with the intention of encouraging American publishers to translate high quality foreign language children's books and "promote communication between the people of the world".

The Batchelder Award was inaugurated in 1968 and there have been 44 winners in 45 years through 2012.[3]

From 1994 there have been 31 worthy runners up called Honor Books, one to three each year.

The 2012 winner is Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., for Soldier Bear, translated by Laura Watkinson. The Dutch original Soldaat Wojtek (2008) was written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman. It was announced January 23, 2012.[4]

Mildred L. Batchelder[edit]

Batchelder began her career working in an Omaha, Nebraska Public Library, then as a children's librarian at St. Cloud State Teachers College, and subsequently as librarian of Haven Elementary School in Evanston, Illinois. She eventually joined the ranks of the American Library Association in 1936 spending the next 30 years at the ALA promoting the translation of children's literature.[2]

Criteria[edit]

Source: "Batchelder Award terms and criteria"[5]

  • The award shall be made to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country and subsequently published in English in the United States during the preceding year.
  • The Award, in the form of a citation, shall be made annually, unless no book of that particular year is deemed worthy of the honor. The translation should be true to original work and retain the viewpoint of the author.
  • The translation should reflect the style of the author and of the original language.
  • The book should not be unduly "Americanized." The book's reader should be able to sense that the book came from another country.
  • Folk literature is not eligible.
  • Picture books are not eligible unless the text is substantial and at least as important as the pictures.
  • The book must have the potential to appeal to a child audience (age 0-14).
  • The overall design of the book should enhance and not detract from the text, thus making the book more or less effective as a children's book. Such aspects might include: illustration, type face, layout, book jacket, etc.
  • Consideration should be given to the retention of the original illustrator's work in the U.S. edition.

Recipients[edit]

Winners are distinguished from Honor Books by yellow background and by 'W' in the far right column.

Batchelder Award winners and runners-up[3]
Publisher Title Author Translator Language
1968 Alfred A. Knopf The Little Man Erich Kästner James Kirkup German W
1969 Charles Scribner's Sons Don't Take Teddy Babbis Friis-Baastad Lise Sømme McKinnon Norwegian W
1970 Holt, Rinehart & Winston Wildcat Under Glass Alki Zei Edward Fenton Greek W
1971 Pantheon Books In the Land of Ur, the Discovery of Ancient Mesopotamia Hans Baumann Stella Humphries German W
1972 Holt, Rinehart & Winston Friedrich Hans Peter Richter Edite Kroll German W
1973 William Morrow Pulga S. R. Van Iterson Alexander and Alison Gode Dutch W
1974 E. P. Dutton Petros' War Alki Zei Edward Fenton Greek W
1975 Crown Publishing Group An Old Tale Carved Out of Stone A. Linevskii Maria Polushkin Russian W
1976 Henry Z. Walck The Cat and Mouse Who Shared a House Ruth Hürlimann Anthea Bell German W
1977 Atheneum Press The Leopard Cecil Bødker Gunnar Poulsen Danish W
1978 (no award)        
1979 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Rabbit Island Jörg Steiner Ann Conrad Lammers German W
1979 Franklin Watts / Scholastic Konrad Christine Nöstlinger Anthea Bell German W
1980 E. P. Dutton The Sound of the Dragon's Feet Alki Zei Edward Fenton Greek W
1981 William Morrow The Winter When Time Was Frozen Els Pelgrom Maryka and Raphael Rudnik Dutch W
1982 Bradbury Press The Battle Horse Harry Kullman George Blecher and Lone Thygesen Blecher Swedish W
1983 Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Hiroshima No Pika Toshi Maruki Kurita-Bando Literary Agency Japanese W
1984 Viking Press Ronia the Robber's Daughter Astrid Lindgren Patricia Crampton Swedish W
1985 Houghton Mifflin The Island on Bird Street Uri Orlev Hillel Halkin Hebrew W
1986 Creative Education Rose Blanche Christophe Gallaz and Robert Innocenti Martha Coventry and Richard Craglia Italian W
1987 Lothrop, Lee & Shepard No Hero for the Kaiser Rudolph Frank Patricia Crampton German W
1988 McElderry Books If You Didn't Have Me Ulf Nilsson George Blecher and Lone Thygesen Blecher Swedish W
1989 Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Crutches Peter Härtling Elizabeth D. Crawford German W
1990 E. P. Dutton Buster's World Bjarne Reuter Anthea Bell Danish W
1991 E. P. Dutton A Hand Full of Stars Rafik Schami Rika Lesser German W
1992 Houghton Mifflin The Man from the Other Side Uri Orlev Hillel Halkin Hebrew W
1993 (no award)        
1994 Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Apprentice Pilar Molina Llorente Robin Longshaw Spanish W
1994 Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Princess in the Kitchen Garden Annemie and Margriet Heymans Johanna H. Prins and Johanna W. Prins Dutch hon
1994 Viking Press Anne Frank Beyond the Diary: A Photographic Remembrance Ruud van der Rol and Rian Verhoeven Tony Langham and Plym Peters Dutch hon
1995 E.P. Dutton The Boys from St. Petri Bjarne Reuter Anthea Bell Danish W
1995 Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Sister Shako and Kolo the Goat: Memories of My Childhood in Turkey Vedat Dalokay Güner Ener Turkish hon
1996 Houghton Mifflin The Lady with the Hat Uri Orlev Hillel Halkin Hebrew W
1996 Henry Holt & Co Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. And Stephan K. Lutz Van Dijk Elizabeth D. Crawford German hon
1996 Walker and Company Star of Fear, Star of Hope Jo Hoestlandt Mark Polizzotti French hon
1997 Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Friends Kazumi Yumoto Cathy Hirano Japanese W
1998 Henry Holt & Co The Robber and Me Josef Holub Elizabeth D. Crawford German W
1998 Scholastic Press Hostage to War: a True Story Tatjana Wassiljewa Anna Trenter German hon
1998 Viking Press Nero Corleone: a Cat's Story Elke Heidenrich Doris Orgel German hon
1999 Dial Press Thanks to My Mother Schoschana Rabinovici James Skofield German W
1999 Viking Press Secret Letters from 0 to 10 Susie Morgenstern Gill Rosner French hon
2000 Walker and Company The Baboon King Anton Quintana John Nieuwenhuizen Dutch W
2000 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Collector of Moments Quint Buchholz Peter F. Neumeyer German hon
2000 Rabén & Sjögren Vendela in Venice Christina Björk Patricia Crampton Swedish hon
2000 Front Street Asphalt Angels Ineke Holtwijk Wanda Boeke Dutch hon
2001 Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic Samir and Yonatan Daniella Carmi Yael Lotan Hebrew W
2001 David R. Godine Ultimate Game Christian Lehmann William Rodarmor French hon
2002 Cricket Books / Carus Publishing How I Became an American Karin Gündisch James Skofield German W
2002 Viking Press A Book of Coupons Susie Morgenstern Gill Rosner French hon
2003 The Chicken House / Scholastic The Thief Lord Cornelia Funke Oliver Latsch German W
2003 David R. Godine Henrietta and the Golden Eggs Hanna Johansen John Barrett German hon
2004 Houghton Mifflin (Walter Lorraine Bks) Run, Boy, Run Uri Orlev Hillel Halkin Hebrew W
2004 Chronicle Books The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Bea Uusma Schyffert Emi Guner Swedish hon
2005 Delacorte Press / Dell The Shadows of Ghadames Joëlle Stolz Catherine Temerson French W
2005 Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove Bodil Bredsdorff Faith Ingwersen Danish hon
2005 Atheneum Books (Richard Jackson Bks) Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi David Chotjewitz Doris Orgel German hon
2006 Arthur A. Levine Books An Innocent Soldier Josef Holub Michael Hofmann German W
2006 Phaidon Press Nicholas René Goscinny Anthea Bell French hon
2006 Bloomsbury Children’s Books When I Was a Soldier Valérie Zenatti Adriana Hunter French hon
2007 Delacorte Press / Dell The Pull of the Ocean Jean-Claude Mourlevat Y. Maudet French W
2007 Delacorte Press / Dell The Killer's Tears Anne-Laure Bondoux Y. Maudet French hon
2007 Hyperion / Miramax The Last Dragon Silvana De Mari Shaun Whiteside Italian hon
2008 VIZ Media Brave Story Miyuki Miyabe Alexander O. Smith Japanese W
2008 Milkweed Editions The Cat: Or, How I Lost Eternity Jutta Richter Anna Brailovsky German hon
2008 Phaidon Press Nicholas and the Gang René Goscinny Anthea Bell French hon
2009 Arthur A. Levine Books Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Nahoko Uehashi Cathy Hirano Japanese W
2009 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Garmann’s Summer Stian Hole Don Bartlett Norwegian hon
2009 Amulet Books Tiger Moon Antonia Michaelis Anthea Bell German hon
2010 Delacorte Press / Dell A Faraway Island Annika Thor Linda Schenck Swedish W
2010 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Eidi Bodil Bredsdorff Kathryn Mahaffy Danish hon
2010 Enchanted Lion Books Big Wolf and Little Wolf Nadine Brun-Cosme Claudia Bedrick French hon
2010 Arthur A. Levine Books Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness Nahoko Uehashi Cathy Hirano Japanese hon
2011
[6]
Delacorte Press / Dell A Time of Miracles Anne-Laure Bondoux Y. Maudet French W
2011 namelos Departure Time Truus Matti Nancy Forest-Flier Dutch hon
2011 Atheneum Books Nothing Janne Teller Martin Aitken Danish hon
 2012
[4]
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Soldier Bear Bibi Dumon Tak Laura Watkinson Dutch W
2012 Delacorte Press / Dell The Lily Pond Annika Thor Linda Schenck Swedish hon
 2013 Dial Books My Family for the War Anne C. Voorhoeve Tammi Reichel German W
2013 Graphic Universe A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return Zeina Abirached Edward Gauvin French hon
2013 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Son of a Gun Anne de Graaf Anne de Graaf Dutch hon
 2014 Enchanted Lion Books Mister Orange Truus Matti Laura Watkinson Dutch W
2014 Enchanted Lion Books The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of My Life Charlotte Moundlic Claudia Zoe Bedrick French hon
2014 Enchanted Lion Books My Father’s Arms Are a Boat Stein Erik Lunde Kari Dickson Norwegian hon
2014 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers The War Within These Walls Aline Sax Laura Watkinson Dutch hon

Multiple awards and honors[edit]

E. P. Dutton has won five Batchelder Awards, Delacorte Press (Dell) four. Several imprints have won three: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic); Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (HarperCollins); Houghton Mifflin. It appears that Scholastic Corporation and Houghton Mifflin have won five and four under all subsidiary imprints.

Anthea Bell's translations from Danish, German, French and Greek have won seven mentions, four Awards and three Honors. Hillel Halkin's translations from Hebrew have four awards. Translations from Greek by Edward Fenton have won three. Several people have translated two Award winners.

Uri Orlev writing in Hebrew and Alki Zei writing in Greek were the authors of four and three Award-winning works, all of those translated by Halkin and Fenton respectively. Bjarne Reuter wrote two of the winners in Danish and Josef Holub two of those in German.


Numbers of Awards (44) and Honors (31) by original language
Awd Hon Language
15 8 German
5 0 Hebrew
5 6 Dutch
4 3 Swedish
4 1 Japanese
3 11 French
3 3 Danish
3 0 Greek
1 1 Italian
1 2 Norwegian
1 0 Russian
1 0 Spanish
0 1 Turkish

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome to the (Mildred L.) Batchelder Award home page". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA). Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  2. ^ a b c "About the Mildred L. Batchelder Award". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Batchelder Award winners, 1968–Present". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  4. ^ a b "2012 Batchelder Award honors Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for Soldier Bear". ALA. Press release January 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  5. ^ "(Mildred L.) Batchelder Award Terms and criteria". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  6. ^ "2011 Batchelder Award honors Delacorte Press for A Time of Miracles". ALSC, Public Information Office. Press release January 10, 2011. American Libraries. ALA. Retrieved 2013-05-05.

External links[edit]