So excited to report that Cao Wenxuan (曹文轩) won IBBY’s Andersen Award this year. According to Xinhua news outlet, this award is given only ONCE in a lifetime for an international author/illustrator for “the aesthetic and literary qualities of writing and illustrating as well as the ability to see things from the child’s point of view and the ability to stretch the child’s curiosity and imagination.”
Tag Archives: books in Chinese
On my 10-day trip to Beijing in August 2015, attending the Beijing International Book Fair and meeting with various publishers, editors, and booksellers, I collected some names and information to share. In this post, three authors, three publishers, and one mega store are mentioned, but of course there are more in that vast land full of talented and passionate children’s book creators! As I learn more about specific titles, I will continue to report.
One of the most revered current children’s book author is 曹文轩 Cao Wenxuan (pronounced “tsau wen-shuan”)。He teaches Chinese literature and children’s fiction writing at the Beijing University and is sought after by many Children’s book publishers for fiction, picture books, nonfiction, and editorial advisory on book series. His picture books tend to be philosophical in nature, slightly wordy, and not shying away from presenting harsh realities to even the very young. Here’s a link to a short info on Wikipedia.
A book recently translated and published by NorthSouth Books by a Chinese author is Grandmother Lives in A Perfume Village by 方素珍 Fang Suzhen. Fang is a Taiwan native and has become really popular in China and is nicknamed “Granny Flower” (花婆婆) who has a literary blog and advises parents on how to share children’s books with their children. She’s the Taiwan translator for Barbara Cooney’s Miss Rumphius (Granny Flower). Fang’s blog is in Chinese.
I fell in love with many of the picture books by 熊亮 Xiong Liang (pronounced shuong liang). Mr. Xiong is both an illustrator and an author with the uncanny ability to tell very moving stories with very few words and simple story arcs. I hope many non-Chinese readers will eventually get to appreciate his work. Here are a couple cover images:
These three publishers all have their own visions and skilled editors to bring Chinese children the highest quality contemporary original works. The official and formal descriptions do not do their justice!
Ming Tian (Tomorrow) Publisher as part of the Shan Dong publishing group has some of the best original picture books around:
海燕 (Petrel) Publishing House just ventured into making their own picture books and novels for children after bringing many quality translated work to China from overseas:
One Mega Store
当当 (DangDang.com) is one of the major online shopping stores in China and many if not most parents buy their children’s books from this outlet which hosts book and reading events, creates age-level and genre book lists, and compiles tailormade book lists (by human sales reps, not just algorithms), etc. for their loyal customers.
As the site claims, this is the world’s biggest children’s books online seller, where according to the report by its sales manager local Chinese and imported foreign books have equal shares of the market. Check it out: http://touch.m.dangdang.com/topics.php?page_id=40131&sid=cbb00b359ca906be87bf470ace50a1ec
The story about a chubby 5th grade boy who is grappling with being the unathletic one in the class is told with a very light and gentle touch: he’s never so troubled by it to be sad, his best friends (who are all fast runners) are all supportive, his teachers do not put him down, even when they try to help him build up his stamina. And his relationship with his parents is loving, albeit full of little conflicts due to his very active mind that is constantly wondering about the world around him and coming up with out-of-the-box ideas.
This is the first of the Rainbow Crow set of high quality contemporary children’s books from China (by the 21st Century publishing company) that I have read and I am definitely impressed: by the author’s understanding of young people’s mindset, by the excellence of the production/design value, and by the publisher’s insistence of offering current stories by Chinese authors to young readers.
Colorful Ravens* “Original Stories in Chinese”* series of 20 titles were published in 2012. I obtained four copies and will report on all of them as soon as I finish each. To read the bilingual plot summary that I made for this book please head over to the Goodreads page.