Rodari’s Telephone Tales Wins 2021 Batchelder Award

Enchanted Lion Books is the winner of the 2021 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “Telephone Tales” — Gianni Rodari‘s 1962 children’s masterpiece, translated into English by Antony Shugaar.   

The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originating in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Originally published in Italian in 1962 as “Favole al telefono,” the book was written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali and translated by Antony Shugaar. The book tells the story of a travelling salesman who calls his young daughter every night to share a delightful, whimsical short story. A classic in Italy, this overdue translation features 67 playful, subversive tales that capture the author’s absurdist humor through ice cream palaces, educational candy, and roads paved with chocolate. 

“Shugaar’s stunning translation captures Rodari’s word play and nonsensical fun, introducing U.S. readers to a world where the status quo can always be questioned,” said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Suzanne Myers Harold.

For information on the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit