The 2020 Mildred L. Batchelder Award

Congratulations to all the writers, illustrators, translators and publishers who have been awarded the 2020 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for translation!

This is the annual US award for translated children’s and YA books, announced yesterday at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. The prize and honor medals are awarded to the US publishers of the winning titles, but the Batchelder is seen as high-level recognition of the work of the author, illustrator and translator.

And the winners are … drum roll

2020 Batchelder Winner


Published by Enchanted Lion Books

Written by Håkon Øvreås, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson

2020 Batchelder Honor Titles


Published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Written by Nahoko Uehashi, Illustrated by Yuta Onoda, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano




Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

Written by Paola Peretti, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, translated from Italian by Denise Muir




Published by Enchanted Lion Books

Written by Jens Raschke, illustrated by Jens Rassmus, translated from German by Belinda Cooper




Published by Plough Publishing House

Written by Uk-Bae Lee, illustrated by Uk-Bae Lee, translated from Korean by Chungyon Won and Aileen Won




Thanks to Bonnie Lynn Wagner (Insta: abackwardsstory) for the slide show update, and kudos to the ALSC for remembering to #namethetranslator on every slide!

About the Batchelder Award

See the ALSC website for a full list of all the Batchelder winners and honor titles since 1968.

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is announced every January at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, as part of the ALSC Book & Media awards (ALSC = Association for Library Service to Children, the children’s literature section of the ALA).

Nine different prizes and medals are awarded by the ALSC, and the Batchelder is the prize ~ the only one globally ~ awarded to children’s and YA books in translation into English.

This award is named for Mildred L. Batchelder, a former executive director of the ALSC, a believer in the importance of good books for children in translation from all parts of the world. Batchelder spent 30 years with ALA (the American Library Association), working as an ambassador to the world on behalf of children and books, encouraging and promoting the translation of the world’s best children’s literature. Her life’s work was “to eliminate barriers to understanding between people of different cultures, races, nations, and languages.”

Mildred L. Batchelder believed children in all countries should have good books in translation from many parts of the world for the following reasons, and we heartily agree:

  • children of one country who come to know the books and stories of many countries have made a beginning toward international understanding;
  • knowing the classic stories of a country creates an attitude for understanding towards the people for whom that literature is a heritage;
  • children, who know they are reading in translation the same stories which children in other countries are reading, develop a sense of nearness with those in other lands; and
  • interchange of children’s books between countries through translation enhances communication between the peoples of those countries, and, if the books chosen for traveling from language to language are worthy books, the resulting communication is deeper, richer, more sympathetic and more enduring. (from “Translations of Children’s Books” by Mildred L. Batchelder in MINNESOTA LIBRARIES, Autumn, 1972, pp. 307-15).

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) runs regular courses and webinars for librarians and educators keen to find out more about selecting, promoting, and increasing awareness of translated books for youth.


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