PHILADELPHIA — Enchanted Lion Books is the winner of the 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “Mister Orange.” 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 held Jan. 24 – 28, in Philadelphia.
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 Dutch in 2011 as “Mister Orange,” the book was written by Truus Matti, with jacket and interior art by Jenni Desmond and translated by Laura Watkinson. When his older brother enlists in 1943, Linus Muller assumes family responsibilities that introduce him to “Mister Orange,” Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. At once a coming of age story and a celebration of the power of art, “Mister Orange” beautifully captures Linus’ awaking to the larger world around him.
“This poignant story of a large working-class family living in New York City tells how “Mister Orange” and WWII change Linus’ life,” said Maureen White, Batchelder Award chair.
Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “The Bathing Costume or The Worst Vacation Of My Life,” published by Enchanted Lion Books; “My Father’s Arms Are A Boat,” published by Enchanted Lion Books; “The War Within These Walls,” published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
Originally published in French in 2011 as “Le Slip de Bain ou les pires vacances de ma vie,” “The Bathing Costume or The Worst Vacation Of My Life” was written by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Separated from his parents for the first time, almost 8-year-old Myron dreads vacationing at his grandparents' house in the French countryside. Even more intimidating, family tradition dictates he master the “10-foot jump.” Myron ticks off multiple conquests during his “worst vacation,” and his newfound confidence proves how much he’s grown.
“Eight-year-old Myron faces a momentous summer vacation with his three cousins and a bathing suit that doesn’t fit,” White said.
Originally published in Norwegian in 2008 as “Eg Kan Ikkje Sove No,” “My Father’s Arms Are A Boat” was written by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter and translated by Kari Dickson. During one long Norwegian night, a father and son explore their powerful emotions of love and loss, but also hope and healing. Lunde skillfully evokes the security of the parent-child relationship and the comfort to be found in the natural world.
“Loss and grief are explored through a simple plot and complex characters,” said White.
Originally published in Dutch in 2011 as “De kleuren van het getto,” “The War Within These Walls” was written by Aline Sax, illustrated by Caryl Strzelecki and translated by Laura Watkinson. With powerful text and stark illustrations, this novella provides a harrowing account of Jewish suffering in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Misha's poetic first-person account tells of his struggle to survive. Together with a band of revolutionaries, they make a courageous stand to tell the world their story.
“’The War Within These Walls’ is an intense account of the horrific Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,” White said.
Members of the 2014 Batchelder Award Committee are: Chair Dr. Maureen White, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston; Anamaria Lopez Anderson, Museum educator, Washington D.C.; Doris J. Gebel, Northport-East Northport (N.Y.) Public Library; Dr. Linda M. Pavonetti, Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.; and Marion Estelle Rocco, Magellan International School, Austin, Texas.
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.