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2015 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor

We are proud to announce that NINE OPEN ARMS by Benny Lindelauf, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen, has been honored by the American Library Association with a 2015 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor.

The 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award was given to Mister Orange. Also The Bathing Costume and My Father’s Arms Are A Boat were named Batchelder Honor books. Mister Orange is written by Truus Matti, Illustrated by Jeni Desmond, and translated by Laura Watkinson. The Bathing Costume is written by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. My Father's Arms Are a Boat is written by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, and translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson.

Click here to visit the Mildred L. Batchelder Award homepage.

Outstanding Books of 2014

Nine Open Arms

Written by Benny Lindelauf
Illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova



Nine Open Arms received a Kirkus Starred Review!

“Every element of the tale has a purpose, and in the end, the multiple layers of past and present separate and come together in surprising, often discomfiting twists and turns. . . A challenging and entirely unique Dutch import.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

Nine Open Arms received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review!

“Lindelauf’s masterful rendering of fraught yet loving sisterly ties, snappy dialogue, graveyard mysteries, and “traces of a tragical tragedy” from generations past combine to humorous and poignant effect in this gripping tale of eclectic families and inveterate wanderers in search of a welcoming home.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

From The Horn Book:

“A family of nine moves into the titular rundown brick house in 1930s Holland and tries to figure out its mysteries, including the tombstone in the cellar, a forbidden room, and the homeless man who moves into the hedge.” -- STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book

The Lion and the Bird

Written and Illustrated by Marianne Dubuc



The Lion and the Bird received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review!

“It’s a remarkably moving, and—considering it features two animals—deeply human story.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

From Kirkus Book Reviews:

“Dubuc excels at capturing emotions visually. The angle of Lion’s posture, with a single nuanced line for his mouth, evinces joy or sadness. White space—sometimes whole pages—speaks its own language of loss and hope . . . A sensitive, uplifting meditation.” -- Kirkus Reviews

From Brain Pickings:

“The Lion and the Bird is ineffably wonderful, the kind of treasure to which the screen and the attempted explanation do no justice — a book that, as it was once said of The Little Prince, will shine upon your soul, whether child or grown-up, “with a sidewise gleam” and strike you “in some place that is not the mind” to glowing there with inextinguishable light.” -- Brain Pickings

Fox's Garden

Written and Illustrated by Princesse Camcam



Fox's Garden received a Kirkus Starred Review!

“Flowing lines and subtle shifts of hue add visual grace notes to this wordless tale of gifts exchanged between a boy and a fox.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

Fox's Garden received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review!

“Camcam creates her images by assembling cut-paper dioramas, which are then lit and photographed. The resulting images possess a subtle dimensionality while the story exudes a haunting winter magic and a strong sense of the way a small kindness can make an enormous difference.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

From School Library Journal:
“It’s the kind of book that doesn’t feel like anything else you’ve seen or read. True and lovely and entirely unique. A book to borrow and a book to own." -- Elizabeth Bird, Fuse8, School Library Journal

From Brain Pickings:

“A gentle reminder that life can be a cold wasteland of cruelty or a whimsical wonderland of grace, depending on the generosity of spirit with which we approach it.” -- Brain Pickings

Take Away the A

Written by Michaël Escoffier
Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo



Take Away the A received a Kirkus Starred Review!

“Amid the flood of alphabet books, now and then one rises to the surface. This one is a prize catch . . . Without a doubt, these inventive images are imaginative and engaging—chock full of inspiration for kids to try their own wordplay and a boon to teachers.” -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

Fox's Garden received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review!

“Just when it feels like there's nothing new under the abecedarian sun, Escoffier and Di Giacomo, the team behind Brief Thief and other titles, showcase the magic of subtraction as it relates to letters, revealing how removing a single letter from a word transforms it into something else entirely.”

-- STARRED REVIEW, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

From School Library Journal:

“what I appreciate most about this book is that it adds a layer of complexity to a children’s lit staple while remaining a squarely for kids. The fear in this sort of thing is that your ABC book might go over the heads of the kids who read ABC books. Take Away the A isn’t a wink for the adult reader – it’s for the kids, through and through.” -- Travis Jonker, 100scopenotes, SLJ

From The Horn Book:

“. . . a creative sophisticated twist on the traditional alphabet book . . . text and art play effortlessly off each other to enhance humor and meaning.” -- The Horn Book

From The Wall Street Journal:

“This literary treat for 4- to 8-year-olds will have children yanking letters out of words for fun in no time.” -- Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

The Jacket

Written by Kirsten Hall
Illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova



A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2014 & a Huffington Post Honorable Mention for 'Most Charming' Picture Book of 2014

From The New York Times Book Review:

"This book is a revelation, seamlessly blending the cleverness of its conceit with the virtues of captivating storytelling...It's as poignant as it is smart. The beauty of Tolstikova's pastel-tinged illustrations, whose manner changes from page to page and suggests both childlike simplicity and a quiet mastery of modernist color and design, shows there's more to a book than its concept." --Mark Levine, The New York Times Book Review . Also listed as an "Editor's Choice."

From School Library Journal:

“. . . a fun read aloud. During story time this past week I would start with the plain blue book and keep the jacket hidden, pulling it out for a “big reveal” at the end. It never failed to delight students and served as a perfect lead-in for discussing book care. . . told from a unique perspective, The Jacket will please a crowd while delving into deeper themes. A book to love.” -- Travis Jonker, 100scopenotes, SLJ

From Publishers Weekly:

“A lovely story that tenderly showcases the relationship between a girl and a book while giving readers the chance to form a very similar relationship, thanks to a neat bit of book design.” -- Publishers Weekly

From Kirkus Book Reviews:

“The mixed-media illustrations do a beautiful job of capturing such things as the interior of a bookstore, the girl’s love for both her companions and the tragic moment of mud.. . . The idea’s originality and the child-friendly instructions at the end of Book’s tale make this a novel gift pick for the juvenile bibliophile.” -- Kirkus Reviews

The River

Written and Illustrated by Alessandro Sanna



The River received a Kirkus Starred Review!

". . . an immersive visual experience that richly rewards patient attention." -- Kirkus Reviews

From Brain Pickings:

"The River is easily the most breathtaking book to come out so far this year. " -- Brain Pickings