The White Ravens 2020: recommended children’s and YA books in 36 languages

The International Youth Library has just published its 2020 White Ravens list: an annual selection of children’s and youth literature from around the world.

The White Ravens 2020: A Selection of International Children’s and Youth Literature (Cover illustration by Emma AdBåge)

Every year, language specialists at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, select recently published books that they consider especially noteworthy. This ‘premium label’ is given to books of international interest that deserve a wider reception on account of their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design.

The White Ravens list aims to promote quality in children’s book publishing and has become an increasingly useful tool for anyone interested in looking beyond national borders for books to publish in translation.

This year, the 114-page White Ravens catalogue contains a selection of 200 notable children’s and young adult books from 56 countries published in 36 languages.

The list is always published in the lead-up to Frankfurt Book Fair which opens on 14 October. The catalogue is usually available as a print edition, but since Frankfurt Book Fair will take place mostly online this year, the IJB has this year produced a digital-only version which can be downloaded as a PDF file here. The catalogue is laid out by country of origin, and is fully indexed with listings by author, theme and suggested target age group (from 2+ to 16+).

Besides being featured in the catalogue, the book descriptions, bibliographical data and book covers are also available in the White Ravens database which goes back to 2008, and previous years’ catalogues are available here.

The impressive range of 36 languages covered this year includes: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Frisian, German, Greek, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Myanmar, Norwegian, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.