2019 Batchelder Award honors Thames & Hudson for “The Fox on the Swing”

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/28/2019


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



Seattle– Thames & Hudson, Inc. is the winner of the 2019 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “The Fox on the Swing.” 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 January 25 - 29, in Seattle, Washington.

The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originating 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 Lithuanian in 2016 as “Laime Yra Lape,” the book was written by Evelina Daciūtė illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė and translated by The Translation Bureau. The book tells the story of Paul, who lives a fairly ordinary life with his parents, but whose routine is interrupted by a moody and deep-thinking fox who challenges Paul’s perspective on happiness and predictability. His friendship with the fox vacillates between moments of whimsy and philosophical ponderings in this exceptional picture book.

“The outstanding writing in this book reflects a deep respect for childhood and the importance of adaptability and absurdity,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt.

Four Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure,” published by NorthSouth Books, Inc.; “Jerome By Heart,” published by Enchanted Lion Books; “My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder,” published by Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.; and “Run For Your Life,” published by Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books, Inc.

Originally published in German in 2018 as, “Edison: Das Rätsel des verschollenen Mauseschatzes,” “Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure,” was written and illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann and translated by David Henry Wilson. In a quest for treasure, Pete, an excited and persistent young mouse, appears in the Professor’s class at the University of Mice. A simple request for assistance turns into a complex and technical adventure with a unexpected conclusion that parallels one of the most important inventions of all time.

“This lavishly illustrated text brilliantly marries intergenerational teamwork with science and discovery,” said Michaelson Schmidt.

Originally published in French in 2009 as, “Jerome Par Cur,” “Jerome By Heart,” was written by Thomas Scotto and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson. This subtle, yet powerful picture book portrays the unabashed love and unconditional friendship between young boys Jerome and Raphael.

“The succinct and clear writing impressed us with its tenderness and honesty.” said Michaelson Schmidt.

Originally published in Mandarin, and then published as a French translation in 2016 as, “Les Contes de la Ruelle,” “My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder,” was written and illustrated by Nie Jun and translated from the French by Edward Gauvin. There’s a story around every corner in this graphic novel about a young girl navigating life with a mobility limitation who lives in a hutong neighborhood of Bejing with her devoted grandfather. Yu’er engages with family and friends to explore the wonders and difficulties of everyday life--without losing sight of her dreams.

“Especially noteworthy is how the four stories integrate tough realities, humor, magic, and delight in depicting their adventures,” said Michaelson Schmidt.

Originally published in Italian in 2010 as, “Io Dentro Gli Spari,” “Run For Your Life,” was written by Silvana Gandolfi and translated by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. “Run For Your Life” is a deeply affecting contemporary novel set in Italy and inspired by real-life mafia events. The stories of Santino in southern Sicily and Lucio in northern Livorno are told in alternating chapters until they connect in a surprising and compelling way.

“This highly-absorbing page-turner is more sophisticated than it appears at first glance,” said Michaelson Schmidt.

Members of the 2019 Batchelder Award Committee are Chair Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Wisconsin State Library, WI Dept. Public Instruction, Madison, Wis.; Sandra Farag,
Ingram Library Services, La Vergne, Tenn.; Lorrie Anne Hansen, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Madeleine Ildefonso, Los Angeles Public Library/Central Library; and Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona, Tucson.

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.