116. CCPPG’s Sino-foreign collaborative programme on children’s books

Since 2012, CCPPG (China Children’s Press and Publication Group 中国少年儿童出版社) has developed a number of Sino-foreign collaborative picture books – matching a Chinese author with a non-Chinese illustrator, or vice versa. In this post, we present some of the books that have been produced, and quote Sun Zhu 孙柱, President of CCPPG on the impact of these collaborations. Where we know of an English edition, we have given details for that book. For further details see Teri Tan’s article in Publisher’s Weekly, 17 April 2020, and the CCPPG Catalogue 2020.

Quoting Sun Zhu (source: Teri Tan’s article):

  • “The younger generation is much more inclusive and multicultural, and our program is aimed at cultivating more such world citizens“
  • “The illustrators whom we work with come from different parts of the world, with some having cross-cultural identities that are reflected in their works”
  • “This collaboration offers the opportunity to tell the same story from different perspectives” (Nian and the Boy)
  • “A Belgian author has different interpretations than those of Chinese authors, and this makes the story unique and multicultural” (Nian and the Boy)
  • “It is a story that appeals to local and overseas audiences” (New Year)
  • “We have continued to expand our pool of overseas illustrators for original works and further enrich our publishing program”
  • “Deepening our international exchanges and creative collaborations has effectively spread our original picture books into other markets around the world”
  • “Creating IP-based courses [intellectual property-based products] requires considerable planning. We must discover, mine, or cultivate an IP with derivative development properties. But at the core, the course must have high-quality content, character depth, internet-enabled scalability, continuity, transformability, and recognizability”
  • “Our program is planned around meeting the reading and learning needs of young readers. We are focused on publishing titles that will inspire, motivate, and resonate with them”

Collaborations, 2013

Collaborations, 2014

How to Teach an Elephant to Jump 怎么教大象跳, by Xiao Mao 萧袤, illus. Yosof Gajah 约瑟夫·盖佳 (Malaysia), 2014

Collaborations, 2015

  • Across the River 河对岸, by Xue Tao 薛涛 (China), illus. Anastasia Arkhipova 安娜斯塔西亚. 阿卡普瓦 (Russia), 2015a
  • I Want to Fly 我要飞, by Jin Bo 金波 (China), illus. Javier Angel Zabala Herrero 哈维尔萨巴拉 (Spain), 2015

Collaborations, 2016

Little E 小E, by author-illustrators Gunter Grossholz 昆特·国斯浩里兹 (Germany) and Wan Yuxi 万昱汐 (China), 2016

Collaborations, 2017

Collaborations, 2017

  • Raining 下雨啦, by Xu Pingping 许萍萍 (China), illus. Graça Lima 格拉萨·利马 (Brazil), 2017
  • Hush, hush! Don’t Speak! 嘘,别出声, by Lu Ruina 卢瑞娜 (China), illus. Miho Okai 冈井美穗 (Japan), 2017
  • Cheep, Cheep, Cheep 小鸡,叽叽叽, by Xiao Mao 萧袤 (China), illus. Hisana Sawada 泽田久奈 (Japan), 2017
  • Changing for a New Bed 换新床, by Li Yiman 李一慢 , illus. Li Xiaohuan 李小幻 (USA), 2017
  • My Home 我的家, by Lin Dan (China), illus. Sonja Danowski 索尼娅·达诺夫斯基 (Germany), 2017
  • Little Chick and Muddy 小小和泥泥, by Ge Bing 葛冰 (China), illus. Piet Grobler 皮亚特·格罗布勒 (South Africa), 2017
  • Ode to Mother 我爱妈妈的自言自语, by Jin Bo 金波 (China), illus. Alfonso Ruano Martin 阿方索·卢阿诺 (Spain), 2017
  • Red Oiled Paper Umbrella 红色油纸伞, by Xu Lu (China), illus. Anastasia Arkhipova 安娜斯塔西亚. 阿卡普瓦 (Russia), 2017
  • A Town of One Person 一个人的小镇, by Bai Bing 白冰 (China), illus. Pejman Rahimizadeh 帕杰曼•拉米扎德 (Iran), 2017

Collaborations, 2018

  • Who is the Highest? 谁最高?by Mei Zihan 梅子涵 (China), illus. Hachiyo Kawamura 川村八夜 (Germany), 2018
  • Black and White 黑和白, by Bai Bing 白冰 (China), illus. Seok Cheel Won 石哲元 (Korea), 2018
  • Tata Wants Meat 塔塔想吃肉, by Zhang Xiaonan 张晓楠, illus. Petr Horácek 彼得·霍拉塞克 (UK), 2018
  • Big Uncle’s Savage Island 大个子叔叔的野兽岛, by Bai Bing 白冰 (China), illus. Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif 阿明哈桑·谢里夫 (Iran), 2018
  • I Love You 一句话的故事, by Chen Shige 陈诗哥, illus. Pia Valentinis 皮娅·瓦伦蒂尼斯 and Mario Onis 马里奥·昂尼斯 (Italy), 2018
  • Mid-Autumn Festival at Xiao Wei’s House 小威的中秋节, by Maria Jesus Gil 玛利亚·耶稣·基尔 (Spain), illus. Zhu Chengliang 朱成梁 (China), 2018
  • Little William’s Great Wall Adventures 小威廉长城历险记, by William Lindsay 威廉林赛 (UK), illus. Zhang Da 张达 (China), 2018

Collaborations, 2019

  • Flying Little Umbrella 会飞的小伞, by Xu Lu (China), illus. Yoko Miyahara 宫原宜子 (Japan), 2019
  • Big-teeth Dinosaur and Small-teeth Dinosaur 大牙恐龙和小牙恐龙, by Sun Yu 孙昱 (China), illus. Ross Kinnaird 罗丝·金奈尔德 (New Zealand), 2019
  • Up and Down 上去和下来, by Bai Bing 白冰 (China), illus. Seok Cheel Won 石哲元 (Korea), 2019
  • Dinosaur Bus 恐龙公交车, by Huang Yu (China), illus. Ross Kinnaird 罗丝·金奈尔德 (New Zealand), 2019
  • Little Fish Meets Little Bird 小鱼遇到小鸟, by Huang Chunhua 黄春华 (China), illus. Manon Gauthier 玛农·高蒂尔 (Canada), 2019
  • New Year 过年, by Mei Zihan 梅子涵 (China), illus. Qin Leng 冷沁 (Canada), 2019
  • Nian and the Boy 年和男孩, by Wally De Doncker 瓦力·德·邓肯 (Belgium), illus. Xiong Liang 熊亮 (China), 2019
  • Panda Family Series 熊猫 (10 vols), by Bai Bing 白冰, Gao Hongbo 高洪波, Jin Bo 金波 (China), et al, illus. Yu Rong 郁蓉 (UK), 2019
  • Milly, Molly and Lily series 开心的米莉茉莉和莉莉”系列 (30 books), by Gill Pittar 吉尔•皮特 (New Zealand), Jin Bo 金波, Gao Hongbo 高洪波, Bai Bing 白冰, Ge Bing 葛冰, Liu Bingjun, illus. Cris Morrell 克雷斯·莫雷尔 (New Zealand) and Zhao Xiaoyu (China), 2019

Collaborations, 2020

  • Little Hedgehog’s Clothes 小刺猬穿衣服, by Ge Bing 葛冰 (China), illus. Zhang Ruihua 张瑞华 (UK), 2020
  • Eek [or What a Scare] 吓一跳, by Huang Chunhua 黄春华 (China), illus. Mahboobeh Yazdani 马布贝·雅兹达妮 (Iran), 2020
  • Grandpa and Me 爷爷和我,  by Xu Lu 徐鲁 (China), illus. Javier Angel Zabala Herrero 哈维尔萨巴拉 (Spain), 2020
  • The Story of the Three Buddhist Monks 三个和尚, by Zhang Xiaoling 张晓玲 (China), illus. Andrea Castro Naranjo 安德里亚·卡斯特罗·纳兰乔 (Columbia), 2020
  • The Long-haired Girl 长发妹, by Chen Mengmin 陈梦敏, illus. Chiara Nasi 基亚拉·纳西 (Italy), 2020

115. The winners of the 2020 Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Awards

The 2020 Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Awards 陈伯吹国际儿童文学奖 were announced in Shanghai on 12 November. Congratulations to all the winners!

The international jury of nine included Gao Hongbo 高洪波 (China, jury president), Liu Jianping (China), Mariela Nagle (Argentina, Germany), Elena Pasoli (Italy), Qin Wenjun 秦文君 (China), Xu Yan (China), Yu Rong 郁蓉 (UK), Zhang Li (China), Zhao Xiaoyin (China).

Best Literary Works in Chinese Language

A Non-existent Villa 不存在的小镇, by Huang Yingzhao 黄颖曌 (China Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House 中国少年儿童出版社, 2019). ISBN: 9787514856064 (image source: douban)
Building a Ceramic Kiln and Giving It to You 建座瓷窑送给你, by Peng Xuejun 彭学军 (21st Century Publishing Group 二十一世纪出版社, 2019/20). ISBN 9787556845361 (image source: douban)
Xiao Su and I 我和小素, by Huang Chunhua 黄春华 (Anhui Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House 安徽少年儿童出版社, 2020). ISBN 9787570707683 (image source: douban)
Running Dai Er’niu 奔跑的岱二牛, by Huang Beijia 黄蓓佳 (Phoenix Juvenile and Children’s Publishing Ltd 江苏凤凰少年儿童出版社, 2019). ISBN 9787558417412 (image source: douban)
A Smile Among Thorns: Xiao Cong 荆棘丛中的微笑:小丛, by Yang Xiaoyan 杨筱艳 (21st Century Publishing Group 二十一世纪出版社, 2020). ISBN 9787556847433 (image source: douban)

Best Picture Books of the Year

1.º Direito (First Floor Right) 一楼右侧, by Ricardo Henriques; illus. Nicolau Fernandes (Pato Lógico Edições, Portugal, 2020) ISBN 978-989-54344-1-1 (image source: Pato Lógico Edições)
Mr. Black and His Dog 布莱克先生和他的狗, by Jiu’er  九儿 (Guizhou People’s Publishing House 贵州人民出版社, 2019) ISBN 9787221154897 (image source: douban)
A Falling Whale 天上掉下一头鲸, by Xi Yuke 西雨客 (Daylight Publishing House 天天出版社, China, 2019) ISBN 9787501615254 (image source: douban)
The Snow Comes Around 下雪天的声音, by Mei Zihan 梅子涵, illus. Igor Oleynikov 伊戈尔.奥列伊尼科夫 (Guizhou People’s Publishing House, China, 2019). ISBN 9787221156341 (image source: douban)
The Truth about Old People 老者的真相, by Elina Ellis (Two Hoots, UK, 2020) ISBN 9781509882274 (image source: panmacmillan)

Special Contribution Award

Zhang Qiusheng 张秋生 (China) – writer of fairy tales and children’s poems, publisher (image source: CCBF)

Best Author of the Year Award

Ed Young (USA) – illustrator and picture book writer

114. Interview with Kate Titmuss, teacher of Mandarin in the UK

Kate Titmuss recently contacted us about buying Chinese books in the UK. She very kindly agreed to an interview. Thank you, Kate!

Kate Titmuss

Hi Kate, please tell us about yourself. What would you like our readers to know about you?

I am currently on maternity leave from teaching. I have taught Mandarin to students aged between 4 and 18 in the UK.

What’s it like to be a teacher of Mandarin in a UK school? 

Positive: It is great to be able to introduce students to a language and culture so different to our own and include authentic material such as films, food and traditional crafts such as paper cutting.

Challenge: Some students can be hostile to learning a foreign language and a teacher must be resourceful and innovative to keep all of them engaged always.

We often receive emails asking where to find, and buy, Chinese books in the UK. Do you buy Chinese books for yourself or for your school? What’s your experience of this? Do you have any particular criteria for selecting books? Where do you buy Chinese books? Do you have any tips for our readers who want to buy Chinese books in the UK? 

I tried to borrow Chinese books from my local library but they were mostly in Traditional Chinese, so I couldn’t read them. I buy books for myself and my children from either Cypress Books or Purple Culture. I prefer Purple Culture because I can email them directly (purple@purpleculture.net) and they can get whatever book I need and send it to me from China. I have also recently discovered a Chinese bookseller based in the UK called De Ziremi. My criteria for the books I buy my children are that they should be what Chinese children would be reading, as opposed to books for ‘learners’. Most of the children’s books on Cypress Books are for learners, and the illustrations aren’t as nice as authentic books. To find books, I follow the links on your blog – eg to the White Ravens Catalogue or Publisher’s Weekly. The books I have bought are mostly for my daughter who is 2 and she likes to look at ones with colourful illustrations, such as “I Really Really Want to Eat strawberries” 《好想好想吃草莓》 and “Mr Octopus Sells Umbrellas” 《章鱼先生卖雨伞》 . So far I haven’t taken any of my own books into my lessons.

Liu Hangyu 刘航宇, “I Really Really Want to Eat Strawberries” 《好想好想吃草莓》(Jieli Publishing House, 2018). ISBN 9787544858151
Han Xu 韓煦, “Mr Octopus Sells Umbrellas” 《章鱼先生卖雨伞》 (Jieli Publishing House, 2018). ISBN 9787544857802

What are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I am reading “The Girl With the Big Feet” 大脚姑娘 with my children. It’s set in a small fishing town in the past, when small feet were seen as elegant and beautiful. Unfortunately for the main character, her big feet prevent her from being happy and finding a husband. However, her big feet help to save lives when a giant wave threatens to take lives, and her fortune changes. The girl experiences a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the book, sometimes very angry (as on the front cover), but she also has times of loneliness, joy, awkwardness, success and disappointment. The book has two styles of text on each page. There is the modern left-to-right typed text which narrates the story in a straight forward vernacular, and the traditional top-to-bottom handwritten text that tells the story using rhyme and is rich in idioms, antiquated phrases and cultural references. The art work is of an original and unique style. I particularly liked the traditional wedding scene, depicting customs such as the sedan chair, veil and bridal chamber, all in a vibrant shade of red.

Wan Wan 弯弯and Yan Xinyuan 颜新元, “The Girl With Big Feet” 大脚姑娘 (Guizhou Renmin chubanshe, 2017) ISBN 9787221140296
The wedding scene in “The Girl With Big Feet”

I am also reading “Xi Jinping Tells a Story” 《习近平讲故事》 compiled by Renmin ribao (People’s Daily) 人民日报. These are 109 very short stories and speeches and thus do not require a lot of time or a long attention span to read them. Also, the book is written for young people so I think the language is simpler to understand. I would definitely try and teach one of these stories to a high-ability class in the future, perhaps an A Level class, not only to improve their language but also to show them what kind of books young Chinese people may read. 

“Xi Jinping Tells a Story” 《习近平讲故事》 compiled by Renmin ribao (People’s Daily) 人民日报

Follow Kate on Twitter :   @KT_Mandarin and on Instagram:  kt_mandarin