2022 Batchelder Award honors Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers for “Temple Alley Summer”
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
ALA Media Relations
CHICAGO – Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers is the winner of the 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “Temple Alley Summer.” The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during LibLearnX, held virtually January 21 - 24.
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 Japanese in 2011 as “Kimyōji Yokochō no Natsu,” the book was written by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake and translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa. The book tells the story of Kazu, who days before the beginning of summer vacation discovers a ghostly figure in a white kimono slipping out of his home. Kazu is driven to discover the secret of the sudden appearance of a new classmate who looks remarkably like this ghostly entity.
“Strong characterization, rich cultural details, and a clever nested story within a story format make this book a compelling and suspenseful read,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Dr. Marie A. LeJeune.
Five Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost” published by Enchanted Lion Books; “In the Meadow of Fantasies” published by Elsewhere Editions; “The Most Beautiful Story” published by Enchanted Lion Books; “Sato the Rabbit” published by Enchanted Lion Books; and “The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas” published by Levine Querido.
Originally published in Danish in 2019 as “Kaffe Kanin Vintergœk Vœk,” “Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost” was written by Betina Birkjær, illustrated by Anna Margrethe Kjærgaard and translated by Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov. The book is a gentle, sensitively crafted story of intergenerational relationships as a beloved grandfather slides ever deeper into dementia. The text is an honest, affirming portrayal of love, dementia, depression, frustration and hope. Additionally, lush illustrations with secreted away details support the poetic, poignant and powerful text’s messages.
“Love endures, even as memories are lost, in this inspiring, compassionate and necessary story,” said LeJeune.
Originally published in Persian in 2017 as “Haft Asb Haft Rang,” “In the Meadow of Fantasies” was written by Hadi Mohammadi, illustrated by Nooshin Safakhoo and translated by Sara Khalili. In this imaginative adventure, a girl and seven horses embark on a fantastical journey. This is a lyrical parable that invites multiple readings and interpretations as the horses gather to share their visions and dreams. The poetic language and stunning illustrations effortlessly coalesce into themes of wonder and delightful discovery.
“Repeated poetic refrains and imaginative illustrations combine to create a compelling tale from the rich storytelling tradition of Iran" said LeJeune.
Originally published in Norwegian in 2016 as “Den Finaste Historia,” “The Most Beautiful Story” was written by Brynjulf Jung Tjønn, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter and translated by Kari Dickson. This carefully crafted picture book is an intricate tale of tragic loss and fervent hope as loving sister Vera seeks help from a compassionate, magical entity who uses the wonder of story to bring the memories of a lost sibling back to life.
“Thought-provoking narrative entwined with emotive illustrations create an enchanting story that can be appreciated by children of all ages” said LeJeune.
Originally published in Japanese in 2006 as “Usagi No Sato-Kun,” “Sato the Rabbit” was written and illustrated by Yuki Ainoya and translated by Michael Blaskowsky. This book chronicles the adventures of the titular character, Sato the Rabbit, in seven short imaginative tales. In each, Sato’s imagination transforms the details of ordinary life into fanciful antics that embrace and enhance the natural world.
“Gentle lighthearted humor throughout the text delights the reader and endears them to the imaginative and ingenious Sato” said LeJeune.
Originally published in Spanish in 2018 as “Diccionario de mitos de América,” “The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas” was written by María García Esperón, illustrated by Amanda Mijangos and translated by David Bowles. A compilation of sacred stories collected from the southern tip of Argentina to the shores of Alaska explores the origins and traditional tales of 18 Indigenous civilizations. Filled with captivating tales of creation, love, and death; the combination of poetry, prose, and illustration make each story an adventure.
“This is a collection of remarkable stories that honor the Indigenous cultures and traditions of people across two continents,” said LeJeune.
Members of the 2022 Batchelder Award Committee are Chair Dr. Marie A. LeJeune, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon; Meagan Albright, NSU Alvin Sherman Library, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Christian Brewington, Dayton Metro Library, Moraine, Ohio; Ivonne S. Cintron, New York City Department of Education, Pioneer Academy P.S. 307 Library, Corona, New York; and Sylvia G. Tag, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.
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 members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. 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.