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Mildred L. Batchelder Award facts for kids

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Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Presented by Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association
Country United States
First awarded 1968

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

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".

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. One of her stated goals was "to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations, and languages."

The Batchelder Award was inaugurated in 1968 and there have been 47 winners in 48 years through 2015.

From 1994 there have been 38 worthy runners-up called Honor Books, one to three each year.

The 2015 winner is Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., for Mikis and the Donkey, translated by Laura Watkinson. The Dutch original Mikis, de Ezeljongen (2011) was written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman.

Mildred L. Batchelder

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.


Source: "Batchelder Award terms and criteria"

  • 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.


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

Batchelder Award winners and runners-up
Awarded 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
Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Princess in the Kitchen Garden Annemie and Margriet Heymans Johanna H. Prins and Johanna W. Prins Dutch hon
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
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
Henry Holt & Co Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. And Stephan K. Lutz Van Dijk Elizabeth D. Crawford German hon
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
Scholastic Press Hostage to War: a True Story Tatjana Wassiljewa Anna Trenter German hon
Viking Press Nero Corleone: a Cat's Story Elke Heidenreich Doris Orgel German hon
1999 Dial Press Thanks to My Mother Schoschana Rabinovici James Skofield German W
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
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Collector of Moments Quint Buchholz Peter F. Neumeyer German hon
Rabén & Sjögren Vendela in Venice Christina Björk Patricia Crampton Swedish hon
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
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
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
David R. Godine Henrietta and the Golden Eggs Hanna Johansen John Barrett German hon
2004 Walter Lorraine Books (Houghton Mifflin) Run, Boy, Run Uri Orlev Hillel Halkin Hebrew W
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
Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Crow-Girl: The Children of Crow Cove Bodil Bredsdorff Faith Ingwersen Danish hon
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
Phaidon Press Nicholas René Goscinny Anthea Bell French hon
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
Delacorte Press / Dell The Killer's Tears Anne-Laure Bondoux Y. Maudet French hon
Hyperion / Miramax The Last Dragon Silvana De Mari Shaun Whiteside Italian hon
2008 VIZ Media Brave Story Miyuki Miyabe Alexander O. Smith Japanese W
Milkweed Editions The Cat: Or, How I Lost Eternity Jutta Richter Anna Brailovsky German hon
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
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Garmann's Summer Stian Hole Don Bartlett Norwegian hon
Amulet Books Tiger Moon Antonia Michaelis Anthea Bell German hon
2010 Delacorte Press / Dell A Faraway Island Annika Thor Linda Schenck Swedish W
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Eidi Bodil Bredsdorff Kathryn Mahaffy Danish hon
Enchanted Lion Books Big Wolf and Little Wolf Nadine Brun-Cosme Claudia Bedrick French hon
Arthur A. Levine Books Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness Nahoko Uehashi Cathy Hirano Japanese hon
Delacorte Press / Dell A Time of Miracles Anne-Laure Bondoux Y. Maudet French W
namelos Departure Time Truus Matti Nancy Forest-Flier Dutch hon
Atheneum Books Nothing Janne Teller Danish hon
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Soldier Bear Bibi Dumon Tak Laura Watkinson Dutch W
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
Graphic Universe A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return Zeina Abirached Edward Gauvin French hon
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
Enchanted Lion Books The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of My Life Charlotte Moundlic Claudia Zoe Bedrick French hon
Enchanted Lion Books My Father's Arms Are a Boat Stein Erik Lunde Kari Dickson Norwegian hon
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers The War Within These Walls Aline Sax Laura Watkinson Dutch hon
2015 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Mikis and the Donkey Bibi Dumon Tak Laura Watkinson Dutch W
Roaring Brook Press (First Second Books) Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust Alexis Siegel French hon
Enchanted Lion Books Nine Open Arms Benny Lindelauf John Nieuwenhuizen Dutch hon
2016 Enchanted Lion Books The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy Beatrice Alemagna Claudia Zoe Bedrick French W
Seven Stories Press Adam and Thomas Aharon Appelfeld Jeffrey M. Green Hebrew hon
NorthSouth Books Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village Fang Suzhen Huang Xiumin Chinese hon
TOON Books (Candlewick Press) Written and Drawn by Henrietta Ricardo Liniers Ricardo Liniers Spanish hon
2017 Enchanted Lion Books Cry, Heart, But Never Break Glenn Ringtved Robert Moulthrop Danish W
NorthSouth Books As Time Went By José Sanabria Audrey Hall German hon
Margaret K. McElderry Books The Ballad of a Broken Nose Arne Svingen Kari Dickson Norwegian hon
Chronicle Books Over the Ocean Tarō Gomi Taylor Norman Japanese hon
2018 Delacorte Press / Dell The Murderer's Ape Jakob Wegelius Peter Graves Swedish W
Charlesbridge Malala: Activist for Girls' Education Raphaёle Frier Julie Cormier French hon
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers When a Wolf is Hungry Christine Naumann-Villemin Eerdmans Books for Young Readers French hon
Elsewhere Editions You Can't Be Too Careful! Roger Mello Daniel Hahn Portuguese hon
2019 Thames & Hudson The Fox on the Swing Evelina Daciūtė Translation Bureau Lithuanian W
Yonder Run for Your Life Silvana Gandolfi Lynne Sharon Schwartz Italian hon
Graphic Universe My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder Nie Jun Edward Gauvin French hon
Enchanted Lion Books Jerome by Heart Thomas Scotto Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson French hon
2020 Enchanted Lion Books Brown Håkon Øvreås Kari Dickson Norwegian W
Godwin Books/Henry Holt The Beast Player Nahoko Uehashi Cathy Hirano Japanese hon
Atheneum Books The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree Paola Peretti Denise Italian hon
Enchanted Lion Books Do Fish Sleep? Jens Raschke Belinda Cooper German hon
Plough Publishing House When Spring Comes to the DMZ' Uk-Bae Lee Uk-Bae Lee Korean hon
2021 Enchanted Lion Books Telephone Tales Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali Antony Shugaar Italian W
HarperCollins Catherine's War Julia Billet, illustrated by Calire Fauvel Ivanka Hahnenberger French hon

Multiple awards and honors

E. P. Dutton and Enchanted Lion Books have won five Batchelder Awards, Delacorte Press (Dell) four. Several imprints have won three: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic); Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (HarperCollins); Houghton Mifflin.

Anthea Bell's translations from Danish, French and German 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, as have translations from Dutch by Laura Watkinson. 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, Bibi Dumon Tak two in Dutch, and Josef Holub two in German.

Numbers of Awards and Honors by original language
Awd Hon Language
(53) (57) (1968–2021)
15 10 German
6 7 Dutch
5 1 Hebrew
4 3 Swedish
4 3 Japanese
4 17 French
4 3 Danish
3 0 Greek
2 3 Norwegian
2 3 Italian
1 1 Spanish
1 0 Russian
1 0 Swedish
1 0 Lithuanian
0 1 Turkish
0 1 Chinese
0 1 Portugueese
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