2002 Batchelder Award honors Cricket Books

Contact:Paige Wasson


For Immediate Release

January 21, 2002

2002 Batchelder Award honors Cricket Books

Carus Publishing/Cricket Books was named winner of the 2002
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children's book originally published in a foreign language and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States for "How I Became an American."

Originally published in Germany in 2000 as "Das Paradies Liegt in Amerika," the book was written by Karin Gündisch and translated by James Skofield.

Ten-year-old Johann recalls the hardships and triumphs of the immigrant experience in 1902, as his German family emigrates in search of the "paradise" said to lay in America. This well-researched novel has much to tell us about what it means to leave one's homeland for another.

An award-winning author in both Germany and in her native Romania, Gündisch often writes about the difficulties of moving, and adjusting to a new country. Skofield, the book's translator, also is a writer and librettist and currently resides in New Hampshire.

One Batchelder Honor Book was selected. Penguin Putnam/Viking's "A Book of Coupons" originally published as "Joker" in 1999, was written in French by Susie Morgenstern with illustrations by Serge Bloch, and translated by Gill Rosner for the U.S. edition.

Monsieur Noël welcomes his fifth grade class with permission slips for such unlikely activities as sleeping late, forgetting homework, and making lots of noise, which gets him into trouble with a sour principal. This charming and deceptively simple school story presents valuable insights into what really matters in life.

Morgenstern, author of "Secret Letters from 0 to 10," a 1999 Batchelder Honor Book, has lived in France for over 30 years. Her long-time friend and collaborator, Rosner, translated the book, and Bloch, the art director of a French magazine for children, created the whimsical illustrations.

Members of the 2002 Batchelder Award Committee include Judith Rovenger, Chair, Westchester (N.Y.) Library System; Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, D.C.; John Peters, New York Public Library; Jennifer Ralston, Harford County (Md.) Public Library; and Joy Shioshita, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.