Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

The Award is presented biennially and recognises the best translation into English of a children's book published within the previous two years.

The purpose of the Award is to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English, thereby promoting children’s literature across different cultures, making great stories more accessible to young readers. It also highlights the important role of the translator, who can often be overlooked.

The 2015 winner is Margaret Jull Costa for the Translation of ‘The Adventures of Shola’, by Bernardo Atxaga, Pushkin Children’s Books, 2013 (Translated from Basque)

Margaret Jull Costa was this year’s Award winner for her translation from Basque to English of ‘The Adventures of Shola’, a book of four short stories by Bernardo Atxaga.

“Shola may look like an ordinary white pet dog but, as her long-suffering owner Señor Grogó knows only too well, she is in fact a highly cultivated creature and the world is her playground – or rather, her jungle. For little Shola is ever ready to discover her inner lioness or to lead the pack on a wild-boar hunt. If only home-made cheese and finely cooked, delicious, marvellous, near-miraculous chips were not quite so tempting, the world would recognise her for the heroic dog she truly is.” (

In their comments on the book, the judges say: “A very satisfying collection of stories, great for reading aloud with a translation which successfully portrays the delightful characters. Each story is very accessible and full of humour, even for older readers, whilst also containing real philosophical moments. A book which truly comes alive with great sound effects throughout.”

Margaret’s translation perfectly captures the spirit of Atxaga’s original work and has enabled more children to discover ‘The Adventures of Shola.’

Pictured: 'The Adventures of Shola', Photograph © Gigi Giannella