Thursday, January 21, 2010

Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and... Batchelder?

This is an interesting award:

The Batchelder Award is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a
children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally
published in a language other than English in a country other than the United
States, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United
States.

Everyone always hears about the Newbery, the Printz, and the Caldecott (Stead, Bray, and Pinkney respectively and all other winners: congratulations), but here's a smaller, fairly new childrens' award that is actually quite different. And even though it deals with two facets of literature I quite like, I've never heard of it.

The reason I'm so intrigued by this is because some of my favorite kids books are in translation. Like "The Neverending Story", which though I read belatedly (a few years ago), stands as one of the best kids book I've ever read. Or one of my favorite picture books, "The Little Polar Bear", written by a Dutch author. It's true, few kids books are translated into English but there should be some kind of outlet to recognize the best of them. And isn't it interesting that the award is given specifically to the publisher? A curious award indeed.

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