ATLANTA – Enchanted Lion Books is the winner of the 2017 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “Cry, Heart, But Never Break.” The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Jan. 20 – 24, in Atlanta.
The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.
Originally published in Danish in 2001 as “Græd blot hjerte,” the book was written by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charlotte Pardi and translated by Robert Moulthrop. In this book, four children naively attempt to outwit Death who arrives for their grandmother. Using a parable featuring the marriage of Joy and Delight to Grief and Sorrow, Death comforts the children during this difficult time. Gentle storytelling reassures young readers about the honest truth of life and death.
“Ringtved’s text respects readers by offering a comforting, but direct confrontation with death in a story that is both somber and joyful,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Jamie Campbell Naidoo.
Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Over the Ocean,” published by Chronicle Books LLC; “As Time Went By,” published by NorthSouth Books, Inc.; and “The Ballad of a Broken Nose,” published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Originally published in Japanese in 1979 as “Umi no Mukô wa,” “Over the Ocean” was written and illustrated by Taro Gomi and translated by Taylor Norman. Using spare text and vivid illustrations, this wistful picture book invites wonder about the broader world beyond the horizon of what is known. A child poses questions that contemplate people, place, and the possibility that someone somewhere might be just like you.
“Echoing universal questions that young children ask about the world, Taro Gomi’s text and illustrations honor curiosity and wonder,” said Chair Naidoo.
Previously published in Spanish as “Con el paso del tiempo,” “As Time Went By” was written and illustrated by José Sanabria and translated by Audrey Hall. Once upon a time, there was a ship, a family and a village that each underwent changes. Told in three parts through watercolor illustrations and spare text, this story follows the ship from grand to abandoned, a family from rich to poor, and a village of homeless people from despair to joy as they find a new home within the railings of the transformed ship.
“The spirit of reinvention is portrayed as the reader follows the ship and the family from opulent to desolate to a hopeful rebirth uniting the two,” said Chair Naidoo.
Originally published in Norwegian in 2012 as “Sangen om en Brukkt Nese,” “The Ballad of a Broken Nose” was written by Arne Svingen and translated by Kari Dickson. Bart, a quirky Norwegian 13-year-old, faces many odds: an alcoholic, overweight mother who loves him dearly; life in a run-down apartment; classmates who bully him and break his nose; and boxing lessons he takes to toughen himself—all juxtaposed with his desire to become an opera singer!
“The many-layered plot, sprinkled with humor, celebrates Bart’s eternal optimism amid the hardships in life, allowing him to grow in courage and self-confidence,” said Chair Naidoo.
Members of the 2017 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Nathaniel D. Halsan, Sacramento, Calif.; Dr. Nancy J. Johnson, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.; Carol K. Phillips, St. Bartholomew School, East Brunswick, N.J.; and Linda Zeilstra Sawyer, St. Francis Xavier School, Wilmette, Ill.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.
For information on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.