This article is part of a larger research project investigating small, innovative Polish children's publishing companies. As shown in previous studies, these 'Lilliputian publishers' were important initiators of change in the cultural repertoire of children's books available in Poland at the turn of the millennium. The change they initiated is closely related to the fact that translations account for two-thirds of their output. Drawing on interviews and a case study of children's literature imported from France, the research reported in this article identifies and analyses the criteria and mechanisms of book selection for translation with a view to expanding understanding of the role of publishers in the literary translation event and their interactions with other actors in this process. The article explores also the impact of the studied publishers' literary imports on children's literature in Poland and, more generally, the role of the small, independent publishers as leaders of innovation in children's literature.