Candied Plums launched its first season of books in the USA a few months ago. All of them were originally written and published in Chinese and have been translated into English. Most of the books are bilingual editions. At first sight, the bilingual editions look like Chinese picture books with Chinese text and pinyin, but turn to the back of the book and you’ll find thumbnail pictures with the English translation.
I translated a few of these books. Working with editor Lisa (Li Xiaocui) was an intense and enjoyable experience. If you think it’s easy to produce bilingual picture books, think again! (Or read this piece by Daniel Hahn.) When the aim is to produce parallel texts in Chinese and English for a picture book, it’s essential that the publisher chooses books that lend themselves to parallel texts, both linguistically and culturally. For more about the process, see this piece by Roxanne Hsu Feldman.
I’ll list the books published already below, and I’d strongly recommend you look at the Candied Plums website as well, which is great! There’s information about the books, the authors and translators, and there’s a section called Chinese Corner, where you can listen to the books online, download an audio-version (mp3), and find some language-learning tips.
Candied Plums (糖葫芦 tanghulu) refers to the sugared hawberries on sticks that are a winter street snack in northern China, and bring back happy memories to children of all ages.
Here are the Candied Plums titles that are available now (there are more coming soon):
Who Wants Candied Hawberries?, by Dongni BAO, illustr. Di WU, tr. Adam Lanphier 《冰糖葫芦，谁买？》
Express Delivery from Dinosaur World, by Yanan DONG, tr. Helen WANG 《恐龙快递》
Buddy Is So Annoying, by Wenzheng FU, tr. Adam Lanphier 《我讨厌宝弟》
Picking Turnips, by Xu ZHOU, tr. Adam Lanphier 《拔萝卜》
Flame, by Chengliang ZHU, tr. Helen Wang 《火焰》
An’s Seed, by Zaozao WANG, illustr. Li HUANG, tr. Helen Wang 《安的种子》
Little Rabbit’s Questions, by Dayong GAN, tr. Helen Wang 《小兔的问题》
CeeCee, by Mao XIAO, illustr. Chunmiao LI and Yanhong ZHANG, tr. Helen Wang 《西西》
Rory the Rabbit, by Yimei WANG, illustr. Chunmiao LI and Xuan HE, tr. Adam Lanphier 《兔子萝里》
The Frog and the Boy, by Mao XIAO, illlustr. Wei CHEN and Xiaomin HUANG, tr. Helen Wang 《青蛙与男孩》
The Peanut Fart, by Xiaoming WANG, tr. Adam Lanphier 《花生米样的屁》
Alakazam, by Chao WANG, tr. Duncan Poupard 《变变变》
Borrowing a Tail, by Songying LIN, illustr. Le ZHANG, tr. Duncan Poupard 《借尾巴》
Who Ate My Chestnut?, by Lei XIA, illustr. by Chao WANG, tr. Duncan Poupard 《谁吃了我的毛栗子》
There’s a Dark, Dark Hole, by Lei XIA, illustr. Yu ZHONG, tr. Duncan Poupard 《黑黑的，有一个洞》
Father and Son Go Fishing, by Xiaoting CHEN, illustr. Ying HUANG, tr. Duncan Poupard 《和爸爸一起去海边》