Yu Rong’s paper cuttings

smoke_cvr_frontMr Pang and Mr Shou (that is, Mr Fat and Mr Slim) live on opposite sides of a river, together with their families. For some unknown reason they don’t like each other and are always fighting. Their children are not allowed to talk to each other – they don’t even let their dogs Pointy Ear and Round Ear play together. But then one morning the families are cooking breakfast. The white smoke from one of the fires mingles with the black smoke from the other. And when the families see this, they start to change their minds … Continue reading

Tyrus Wong (1910-2016) and Bambi

When Walt Disney’s “Bambi” opened in 1942, critics praised its spare, haunting visual style, vastly different from anything Disney had done before. But what they did not know was that the film’s striking appearance had been created by a Chinese immigrant artist, who took as his inspiration the landscape paintings of the Song dynasty. The extent of his contribution to “Bambi,” which remains a high-water mark for film animation, would not be widely known for decades. Continue reading

Bing Xin and The Little Orange Lantern

Bing Xin 冰心 (1900-1999) is a major figure in Chinese literature, and the Bing Xin Children’s Literature Award 冰心儿童文学新作奖 is one of the four major Chinese literature awards. This month, one of Bing Xin’s most famous works, The Little Orange Lantern 《小橘灯》,was featured on Brigitte Duzan’s website Chineseshortstories (including the memoir -essay in Chinese, her translation into French, and the background to the story). Inspired by Brigitte’s post, I have created a similar version for English readers here. Continue reading

A picture’s worth a thousand words…

On 3 November, we posted a piece about Zhang Xinxin and Little People’s Books. Zhang Xinxin created the beautiful banner for our blog, and she kindly highlighted our blog on her Weibo page. It seems we are not the only people who like this image. On 11 November, the Chinese periodical Wen yi bao (“Literature and Arts Paper”) reproduced it in its print and online edition.  Continue reading

Made in China: 10 picture books you can’t miss

This was the title of an article by Li Hongrui in China Daily, 14 July 2016. Li gave an illustration, an English title, and a short review for each Chinese book. While it’s great to see picture books being recommended, we need more information to make it easier to find them and read them for ourselves. So, I’m adding the authors, illustrators, publishers, ISBNs and an online link here. One of them (no.10) was A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2011! And we’re looking forward to seeing another one (no.3) published in English in 2017! Continue reading

The Reason for Being Late

Haven’t we all searched for a good reason for being late–one that has the appearance of being legitimate, that is beyond our control, and that we hope to give to our friends, teachers, and colleagues without having to own our faults? In The Reason for Being Late (迟到的理由), a delightful picture book by a 26-year-old Chinese artist named Yao Jia (姚佳), a piglet does just that in an unnervingly quiet school hallway, searching hard for the best reason to give to his second-grade teacher before timidly pushing open the door to his classroom. Continue reading