67. Chinese dinosaurs in an English village

The Linton Children’s Book Festival takes place this weekend, in the beautiful English village of Linton, not far from Cambridge.  I was invited to introduce DONG Yanan’s book Express Delivery from Dinosaur World yesterday, and the event was fully booked! 32 young readers (some as young as two years old) came along with their parents.

The event took place at the Linton Village College. There were eight tables in our room, and pencils and paper available on each. There was a lot of spontaneous drawing of dinosaurs!

After a very brief introduction, we moved on to three key activities. The first two were from Dong Yanan’s book.

Activity 1: Cross the Dinosaur Mountain – looking for creatures in the mountains

Activity 2: Spot the Difference

The third activity was a puzzle about the names of dinosaurs. Each group had a packet with pieces of paper relating to eight dinosaurs: a picture of the dinosaur, its scientific name, the meaning of its scientific name, its Chinese name, and the individual characters in the Chinese name. Could the groups arrange the pieces of paper into eight groups? No problem! I’ve created language/translation based activities like this one before, and it’s amazing to see how people approach the task in very different ways.

IMG_E4423[1]

Most groups started with Triceratops, because they know (or can guess) that it means “three horned head”.

When they see how the Chinese names for dinosaurs are constructed, they can then invent their own. And here is the first picture ever of the Tesanyilong  特三翼龙  the “special three-winged dinosaur” created at the Linton Children’s Book Festival on 19 February 2018.

IMG_4421[1].JPG IMG_4420[1]

 

Advertisements

62. The NCTA Freeman Book Awards

The 2017 NCTA Freeman Book Awards have just been announced. I’m delighted that Bronze and Sunflower has won the young adult/middle school literature award, and that An’s Seed received an honourable mention. I didn’t really know what the Freeman awards were about. Who better to ask than David Jacobson, whose book Are You an Echo? received an honourable mention last year to tell us about the prize, and what winning meant to him.  Continue reading

59. Interview with Chloe Garcia Roberts, translator of the picture book “Feather” by Cao Wenxuan and Roger Mello

2017 saw the publication of Feather, the stunning picture book collaboration between author Cao Wenxuan and illustrator Roger Mello [you can read Minjie Chen and David Jacobson’s post about Cao and Mello at the USBBY conference in Seattle here].  I was delighted to discover that the translator was Chloe Garcia Roberts, poet (The Reveal, 2015), translator and managing editor of the Harvard Review. I know her better for her translations of poetry by the Tang dynasty poet LI Shangyin 李商隱 (813-858), and was keen to learn more about Chloe’s work, and how she came to translate Feather. She very kindly agreed to an interview.  Continue reading

58. China Welfare Institute Publishing House: Picture Books from China, with Love & Beauty

This guest blog by Helen Limon was first published on Children’s Literature in Newcastle, the blog of the Children’s Literature Unit Graduate Group (CLUGG) at Newcastle University, UK earlier this month. Many thanks to Helen Limon and CLUGG for allowing us to repost it here. We’ve added in some Chinese and a few weblinks. Continue reading

57. Dong Yanan’s picture books

DONG Yanan 董亚楠 is the author and illustrator of the gorgeous book Express Delivery from Dinosaur World, which she created while she was a student at the Picture Books Studio at the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) (中央美术学院绘本创作工作室) in Beijing. So far, the book has earned her first prize in the CAFA 2014 Student Design Award, and a special award in the 8B Design Awards; and its English translation, by Helen Wang, received a Kirkus starred review. Continue reading

56. What’s the difference between children’s books in China and the US?

This is the title of an article by Nurith Aizenman, published in NPR on 6 January 2018. It refers to an academic study “Learning-Related Values in Young Children’s Storybooks: An Investigation in the United States, China, and Mexico” carried out by Cecilia S. Cheung, Jorge A. Monroy and Danielle E. Delaney (Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology vol. 48, issue 4, May 2017, pp. 532-541 – see the abstract at the bottom of this post).  Continue reading

54. Chinese children’s and YA books, in English, 2017

Paper Republic recently published its annual list of Translations from Chinese in 2017. The list includes a long list of books for children and YA, so I’ll reproduce those here. As always, if we’ve missed anything, let us know, so we include it! Most of these books are available to purchase online – and Candied Plums titles (published in the USA) can also be ordered through https://www.bilingualbees.co.uk/ . Continue reading

53. A Cross-Cultural Conversation Between Two Master Storytellers at the 2017 USBBY Conference

By Minjie Chen and David Jacobson

The 12th United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) Regional Conference was held in Seattle, Washington October 20-22, 2017. The theme of the conference was “Radical Change Beyond Borders: The Transforming Power of Children’s Literature in a Digital Age.” For the first time, a speaker from China—author Cao Wenxuan曹文轩—was invited to deliver the biennial Dorothy Briley Memorial Lecture at the USBBY Regional Conference. USBBY is one of the national sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the organization that gives the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Awards and selected Cao as the winning author in 2016. Continue reading