Earlier this week, Tomorrow Publishing House (Tiantian chubanshe 天天出版社) posted a piece recommending some good reads for children during this holiday week in China. If you need a rest from National Day, moon-gazing, mooncakes and so on, try these:
(1) YE Jiaying (ed.-in-chief), GAO Chang (appreciation), A Child’s Garden of Poems: Ancient Poems volume — Chia-ying YEH (pinyin: YE Jiaying) is well known in the world of Chinese poetry. This book is in the same series as Bei Dao’s Poems for Children.
(2) SHEN Shixi and Seaton, Great Animal Stories from China and the West — Stories by China’s “King of Animal Stories” and E.T. Seton (1860-1946) of Canada, famous for his animal stories, placed together in the same series.
(3) CAO Wenxuan, The Through Wind, and Bats’ Scent — Two stories by Cao Wenxuan. In The Through Wind a little boy is blamed for the sins of his father (who stole to fund his gambling habit), until he persuades people otherwise. In Bats’ Scent, a blind father puts a scented band around his son’s wrist so that he can follow the scent when the boy is sleepwalking.
(4) YANG Zhijun, The Tunnel Under the Sea — a prize-winning story about growing up.
(5) Lao Chen, TANG Sulan, XIE Qianni, LI Donghua, WANG Yuehan et al, Conversations about Growing Up series — In five volumes. Two generations of authors talk about the influences on their lives.
(6) LU Yang, ZHAO Xia, WANG Yuehan et al (WU Yan and ZHANG Pincheng, eds-in-chief), New Science Fiction Literature for Children series) — Eight books in the series. New science fiction stories.
(7) Heinz Janisch (text), Linda Wolfsgruber (illustr.), YAO Yue (tr.) Heute will ich langsam sein [Today I want to be slow] — Poems by the well-known Austrian author and Italian illustrator.
(8) Jane Yolen (text), MENG Keyu (tr.), Trash Mountain — When a young red squirrels’ parents are killed, he seeks refuge in Trash Mountain, where he has to learn to be brave. [The Chinese title back-translates as “Goodbye, wimpy me”]
(9) Gunilla Bergström (text/illustr.), XU Xin (tr.), Alfie Atkins — The adventures of Alfie Atkins (Swedish: Alfons Åberg), a little boy who lives with his father. [The Chinese translation of the boxed set translates as “Alfie Atkins and his good dad”.]
(10) YIN Jianling (text), WEI Dongni (illustr.), My house is very, very, very big — A little boy with a big imagination plays at home. Simple language for little children.
(11) BAO Dongni (text), CHEN Bo (illustr.), Xiu hua’er — During wartime, a Japanese woman buys embroidered clothes for her unborn child. After the war, she leaves the baby by the embroiderer’s door. The family bring the child up as their own, until one day a letter arrives…
(12) MENG Yanan (text/illustr.), Happy Mid-Autumn Festival — Mama Rabbit prepares a special family dinner for Mid-Autumn Festival. She sets out early in the morning and meets lots of friends along the way: Squirrel, Otter, Little Bee. Little does she know that Bushy-tail Wolf is sneaking after her… This book won gold prize in the 2016 Cao Wenxuan Best Picture Book Awards