Author Archives: fairrosa

About fairrosa

Children's Librarian for 4 years. Middle School Librarian for 17 years and counting. Love children's books. Favorite genres: fantasy and scifi.

Notes from Beijing, Day 7

FCLBeijingSecond full day at BIBF brought me much delight in discovering more wonderfully original picture books, novels, and literary nonfiction. It is apparent that children’s books are growing in market, importance, and quality countrywide.

Got invited to a dinner with two publishers from Sri Lanka and exchanged much information about the two countries and heard quite a few humorous stories by one of the veteran publisher and former newspaper editor.

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Notes from Beijing, Day 6

FCLBeijingToday was the first day of BIBF (Beijing International Book Fair). I attended five meetings with various publishers and rights reps, exploring a wide range of picture book themes and styles. There is so much potential and such willingness to learn and eager to improve: and a few names to be seriously look out for. The authors and artists of note will be posted this Sunday for the special China edition of the FCL Sunday Select. I am to meet with more people in the next two days, but perhaps a little more free time to wander around on my own as well.

Dinner was a most wonderful affair at an elegant restaurant specializing in Beijing traditional food, done with delicacy and close attention to details. We talked a lot about the future of Chinese Children’s books: its need for YA books, for creative and literary nonfiction, for better training of editorial staff, for curtailing the practice of giving the illustration jobs to “illustration companies” where the pictures are done in bulk and without personal touches, individual connections or editorial input.

A very productive and delicious day!

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Notes from Beijing, Day 5

FCLBeijingI attended the very first International Children’s Publishing Forum at the Beijing International Book Fair today. Jam packed with great information: we listened about the development of Chinese Children’s literature of the past 100 years, how to examine picture books for their individual worthiness whether a title has garnered major award or not, the statistical and strategic reports from major publishers and booksellers here and abroad, and the extremely valuable collaboration of authors and illustrators, among other topics.

The most fun was to spend time with my close friend and like minded colleague Junko Yokota who gave the talk at the event on picture book evaluation. I learn so much from her every time we talk! Today was no different.

After the Forum, Junko’s host, Miss Zhang from the China Children’s Press and Publishing Group graciously invited me to the opening ceremony and reception hosted by the BIBF organizer at the Great Hall of The People. There many new connections were formed and much hope for future collaborations was shared.

Went back to Junko’s hotel room where we talked some more: about our plans, the upcoming IBBY conference in New York, and her upcoming talk on building empathy through reading picture books.

This is not a short note but then again this was not an uneventful day!
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Notes from Beijing, Day 4

FCLBeijingHad a very fruitful meeting this morning, understanding what the company’s immediate and long term goals are and exploring original materials that might have potentials for high quality translations of interest to Mandarin learners and educators.

The entire afternoon was devoted to the visit to the Great Wall. I managed to climb the 454 steps (some of them are really steep) to the highest allowable platform.

The picture at the summit is in the camera. Here are some pictures taken with my phone:

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Sunday Select, August 23, 2015

FCLSSQuote of the Week

Learning the alphabet gave you night terrors, and even now you have a deep seated fear of being mauled by a bear.

— by Bridey Heing,

from “How to Tell If You’re in and Edward Gorey Book”  (referring to The Gashlycrumb Tinies)

Children’s Literature Happenings & Book Lists

How To Tell If You’re In an Edward Gorey Book by Bridey Heing — from The Toast

Kwame Alexander BeatBoxing The Crossover at Singapore American School

ABC Books Beyond Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Karina Glaser — from Book Riot

Getting Graphic by Julie Danielson — from Kirkus

7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #445: Featuring Matt Phelan by Julie Danielson from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Good Questions and Great Answers

Where Are All The People of Color in Sci-Fi/Fantasy? by Anthony Vicino — from SF Signal

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains by Perri Klass, MD. — from The New York Times

10 REASONS TO READ DIVERSELY — from Lee & Low Books

I’m Latino. I’m Hispanic. And They Are Different, so I drew a comic to explain. by Terry Blas — from Vox

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Notes from Beijing, Day 3

FCLBeijingDa Guan Yuan, the Garden of Broad View (my translation) was both a disappointment and an unexpected delight. This garden modeled after the creation of one of the best known literary settings in China, where most tumultuous family and love drama took place in The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin, was well designed but poorly constructed and has fallen to much disrepair. So, even when I was excited to visit the living quarters of my literary crush Jia Baoyu, I couldn’t but lament the lost potential of the space.

However, the Garden is now also a meeting place for the elders who are practicing traditional art forms: music, Peking opera, and rhyming storytelling, calligraphy, etc. I got to see and listen to my heart’s content.

I wonder when will the story of Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu, the epitome tragic lovers, be know to western readers and story lovers. Is it my calling to finally make this decades long dream of mine a reality?

The afternoon was spent meandering the highly developed, crowded touristy area of Nanluoguxiang (Southern Drum Lane.). Squeezed between stalls selling imported food and beverage items (Frozen Yogurt, Bubble Tea, Starbucks) are genuinely wonderful drafts shops offering goods based on traditional folk art concepts with inventiveness and care for elevated qualities.

Dinner was a semi-business affair, meeting a couple of the managers from Chinese Educational Publications. We talked about everything and much of dinner had an elated overtone because their first major venture with an American publisher (Tor) just garnered a major award: the Hugo went to The Three Body Problem, a 2008 Chinese novel translated and published last year! The first ever Hugo Award for an Asian import. In look forward to examining Chinese children’s publications to select the titles that will help non-Chinese young readers gain better cultural understanding through high quality literary work.

(Da Guan Yuan pictures are on my camera. Can’t post them until a week from now.)

A happy find in Nanluoguxiang, clay creations: lucky rabbit on lucky mounts:
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Dinner dishes at Hua Jia Yi Yuan restaurant:
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Notes from Beijing, Day 2

FCLBeijingSince posting on WordPress has proven quite challenging using my phone alone (didn’t travel with a computer) and most of the pictures are on my camera (and I didn’t bring all the cable connectors), my posts will be short and with just a couple of pictures. More to come after I am back to New York.

Day two in Beijing was split into three segments: The Summer Palace (Ye He Yuan); the newly developed areas of restaurants near the Palace ground; and the Hou Hai area of bars and live music. One sentence summary: The city seems to be a happy but awkward mixture of the very old and the aspirationally new; the responsibility to maintain the heritage of the Chinese past and the drive to catch up with the global future.

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