The Batchelder Award is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year.
Telephone Tales, published by Enchanted Lion Books, written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali and translated by Antony Shugaar. Originally published in Italian in 1962 as Favole al telefono.
The book tells the story of a travelling salesman who calls his young daughter every night to share a delightful, whimsical short story. A classic in Italy, this overdue translation features sixty-seven playful, subversive tales that capture the author’s absurdist humor through ice cream palaces, educational candy, and roads paved with chocolate.
“Shugaar’s stunning translation captures Rodari’s word play and nonsensical fun, introducing U.S. readers to a world where the status quo can always be questioned,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Suzanne Myers Harold.
2021 Honor Book
Catherine’s War, published by HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, written by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel, and translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Originally published in French in 2017 as La guerre de Catherine.
The graphic novel tells the story of Rachel, a Jewish girl forced to change her identity during World War II. Now Catherine, she uses her camera as a lens to document her experiences. Based on a true story, the action vividly captures her moments of terror, exhilaration, and joy.
“The creators depict Catherine and the people who share her journey as fully developed, nuanced characters in all of their humanity,” said Harold.
Members of the 2021 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Suzanne Myers Harold, Astoria Public Library, Astoria, Oregon; Vickie Coyle, All Saints Catholic School, Manassas, Virginia; B. Allison Gray, Goleta Valley Library, Goleta, California; Kathleen McBroom, Wayne State University School of Information Sciences, Detroit, Michigan; Angela C. Moffett; San Francisco Public Library, Castro Valley, California.