It’s FINALLY happening!! So excited to report that the first group of books (20 titles) from Candied Plums, an imprint of Paper Republic, located in Seattle and Beijing, are finally available in the U.S. marketplace.
You can purchase the titles through Amazon or Baker and Taylor (and hopefully more venues in the immediate future.)
I have proudly served as Candied Plums consultant for the last year and a half and am impressed by the diligence and vision of those who venture into this new territory with me. Manager Richard Li (Li Yun), editorial and rights coordinator Lisa Li (Li Xiaocui,) and editor Nancy Zhang (Zhang Tong) have poured their heart and soul into bringing the best contemporary children’s picture books to American readers: both Mandarin Learners and non-Chinese readers. Some titles are available in both English and Bilingual Chinese (with English translation at the back of each book) versions while some are only available in Bilingual Chinese version.
Kirkus has reviewed some of titles and it seems that the reviewers all adore the stories and illustrations but worry about the fact that the English translation of the bilingual version does not appear along side the Chinese text. This is a deliberate choice by the editorial team. We want to present the books as close to their original version as possible while still giving the English readers a completely clear sense of what each page conveys. It is a bold and risky choice — but perhaps it is also a chance for readers of all ages to get excited about something new and groundbreaking. The company’s budding website will include companion audio recordings of each title. I can see a fun library program where the librarian can play the audio version, stopping to translate each page with the provided English text, and give the young audience the pleasure of the storyline, the illustrations, and hearing an unfamiliar but widely used language in the world.
To give a bit of a taste of what the books are like, here are two titles and links to their reviews by Kirkus.
Candied Plums’ Winter 2016/2017 Catalog also offers detailed information, description, and language learning levels.
Please also visit the Candied Plums’ Website. Spread the word and give us feedback so we can continue bringing the best of Chinese children’s books to American young readers, schools, libraries, and families.