Winnie and Honors

Casual Caldecott turned into quite a party! We had 22 people--kids and parents--gather to read, visit, and vote on a dozen of the year's best, most buzzed-about picture books. We weren't able to have a book-by-book discussion prior to voting, but the results sorted themselves out nicely nonetheless. We named five honor books (listed in alphabetical order by title): 

And we had a clear winner:

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick; illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Finding Winnie is my favorite, too (sometimes my favorite doesn't even get an Honor at our house Caldecott: this was a first!). Congratulations to Sophie Blackall from all of us!

Your Batchelder Reading List

I'm back as promised with a sampling of children's books in translation published in 2015. Today I'm looking at American publishers, because those are the ones eligible for the Batchelder award, but I should note (again) that Canadian publishers Groundwood Books and Kids Can Press also publish a fair amount of translated books, as do Pushkin Children's Books in the UK and Gecko Press in New Zealand (and lots of others)--I'll get to those next time!

Let's start with a title or two from each of the smaller publishing houses. I've included original publication information where I have it.

I Am a Bear by Jean-Francois Dumont, translated by Leslie Mathews (Eerdman's Books for Young Readers, 2015). Originally published in France in 2010 under the title Je Suis Un Ours.

The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop by Pierdomenico Baccalario, illustrated by Simona Mulazzari and translated by Alessandro Gatti (Enchanted Lion Books, 2015). Originally published in Italy in 2013 as Storia di Goccia e Fiocco.

The World in a Second by Isabel Minhós Martins, illustrated by Bernardo Carvalho and translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Originally published in Portugal in 2008 as O mundo num segundo.

Farewell Floppy by Benjamin Chaud (Chronicle Books, 2015). No translator credited. Originally published in France in 2009 as Adieu Chaussette.

Now on to graphic novels!

Omaha Beach on D-Day: June 6, 1944 with One of the World's Iconic Photographers. Photographs by Robert Capa. Story by Jean-David Morvan and Séverine Tréfouël. Design by Dominique Bertail. English translation by Edward Gauvin. First Second, 2015. Originally published in France, 2014.

First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson by Simon Schwartz; translated by Laura Watkinson (Graphic Universe, 2015). Originally published in 2012 as Packeis.

The Other Side of the Wall by Simon Schwartz; translated by Laura Watkinson (Graphic Universe, 2015). Originally published in 2009 as drüben!

Finally, one of the few middle-grade novels I found in my belated search for Batchelder-eligible books: You Can't See the Elephants by Susan Kreller, translated by Elizabeth Gaffney (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2015). Originally published in German in 2012 under the title Elefanten sieht man nicht. Unusually, the translator is both credited on the cover and blurbed on the back ("Praise for Translator Elizabeth Gaffney"), although it turns out that the praise is for Gaffney's own novels; this is her first translation for children. You Can't See the Elephants is already an international award winner (this is also noted on the cover). I find it problematic that the American edition seems to have moved the setting of the story from Germany to the United States, and wonder why--the novel still feels very European, and the story doesn't work quite as well in an American setting. Still, a powerful book.

There's your reading list! Please do let me know if I've missed something you loved. Thanks!

Where to Look for Batchelder Books: Start here

I haven't been as diligent in keeping a record of the children's books in translation published in 2015, let alone those eligible for the Batchelder Award, as I would have liked to be (it's a reading and blogging resolution for 2016, though! Watch this space). Last year's winner was Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman and translated by Laura Watkinson; published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers in 2014. It was also my favorite, and now I want a miniature Mediterranean donkey. 

Looking ahead, good places to find potential Batchelder books are smaller publishing houses like Eerdmans and Enchanted Lion Books, both of whom make consistently beautiful and important books. (The same is true of Canadian publishers Groundwood Books and Kids Can Press; they are, however, ineligible for the Batchelder, which is awarded to an American publisher).

Graphic novels seem to be translated relatively frequently, so First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press), Graphic Universe (a division of Lerner Publishing Group), and TOON Graphics are also possibilities.

You might look the for the work of individual translators such as Laura Watkinson, who translates into English from Dutch, Italian, and German.

And of course, translated books can be published by larger (and smaller) publishing houses, or published as e-books, which are eligible for the Batchelder this year as part of a pilot program.

I'll be back tomorrow with a (sadly short!) list of children's books in translation published in 2015.

Casual Caldecott

Eek! We're just a week away from the announcement of the 2016 ALA youth media awards, in Boston on Monday, January 11 at 8am. I've organized a couple of Mini-Mock Caldecotts at my house in the past, and they've been lots of fun--and work! This year, I'm thinking about doing something a little simpler, more of a Casual Caldecott. Instead of a committee meeting, it would be an open house--folks would be invited to drop by, read a handful of books, and cast their ballots (to be tabulated later). Also there would be cookies. Here are some of the books I'm considering:

  • Ask Me by Bernard Waber, illustrated by Suzy Lee
  • Drowned City by Don Brown
  • Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López
  • Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
  • Float by Daniel Miyares
  • Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson, illustrated by David Shannon
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña , illustrated by Christian Robinson
  • Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier
  • Wait by Antoinette Portis
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora
  • Yard Sale by Lauren Castillo

The final list would depend in part on what I already have and what's available at the library--with any luck, there will be at least some overlap with the real committee's choices. It makes Monday morning much more fun! Any interest?