2003 Batchelder Award honors The Chicken House/Scholastic, Inc.

Contact: Paige Wasson



For Immediate Release

January 27, 2003

2003 Batchelder Award honors

The Chicken House/Scholastic, Inc.

The Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., was named winner of the 2003 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 "The Thief Lord." The award was announced January 27 at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 24-29.

Originally published in Germany in 2000, the book was written by Cornelia Funke and translated by Oliver Latsch.

Two orphaned brothers, Prosper, 12, and Bo, 5, come to Venice on the run from relatives who intend to separate them. A band of street kids, a mysterious Thief Lord, a nosy detective and a magical carousel are all part of an enchanting story that combines mystery, adventure and fantasy.

"Cornelia Funke, one of Germany's most popular writers, brings the magic of Venice to life while defining what it means to be a family," said Chair Junko Yokota.

The Batchelder committee selected one honor book, published by David R. Godine. "Henrietta and the Golden Eggs" by Hanna Johansen and illustrated by Käthi Bhend, was translated by John Barrett. The book was originally published in German under the title, "Vom Hühnchen das goldene Eier legen wollte."

An innovative book design captures the heart of this allegorical tale of a persistent and clever hen that pursues dreams leading to better conditions for the 3,333 chickens on a poultry farm.

"These two books are fine examples of international books that are accessible to all children," Yokota added.

Committee members include: Chair JunkoYokota, National-Louis University, Evanston, Ill.; Carolyn R. Angus, George Stone Center for Children's Books, Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University; Doris J. Gebel, Northport-East Northport (N.Y.) Public Library; Sandra J. Imdieke, Northern Michigan University, Marquette; Monique LeConge, Benicia (Calif.) Public Library; and Susan M. Stan, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant.

The Batchelder Award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA. Established in 1966, the award is named for Mildred L. Batchelder, a former ALSC director whose life work was "to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations and languages."

ALSC gives the Batchelder Award to encourage American publishers to seek out superior children's books abroad and to promote communication among the peoples of the world.

More information about the award is available