ORIGIN early 17th cent.: via French from Italian gazzetta, originally gazeta de la novità (because the news-sheet sold for a gazeta, a Venetian coin of small value)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hooray for "Soldier Bear"

With the annual announcement of the American Library Association's Newbery and Caldecott prizes, January is always an exciting month for anyone interested in children's literature, and even more so for those of us who write, illustrate, translate, edit, publish, or have any connection with this vibrant field of literature. But what many people don't know is that the ALA awards other prizes each year as well. One of them is the Mildred L. Batchelder Award. Yesterday, I was thrilled to learn that Laura Watkinson's translation of "Soldier Bear,"written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura from the Dutch, and published in the United States by Eerdmans' Books for Young Readers has been awarded the 2012 ALA Batchelder award for translation of an outstanding children's work from a foreign language. Only the very best translators receive this award, and Laura is more than deserving: the story is beautifully and seamlessly rendered in English. When I read it last December, after happening upon it at the Eerdmans' booth at the NCTE conference in Chicago, I was both moved and delighted. BRAVO, Laura! And Bravo as well to Eerdmans' Books for taking a chance on a story from outside our sometimes very insular American borders!

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