The Only Child, by Guojing

The Only Child by Guojing was published to great acclaim in 2015. The following year it was published in China (郭婧: 《独生小孩》). This “silent book” (wordless picture book) tells the story of a little girl and her deep feeling of loneliness. The title and the setting – Guojing’s memory of her own childhood in China – makes an English reader immediately think of The One Child Policy in China. Introduced in 1979, the phasing out of this policy began in 2015, and families are now allowed two children. Li Xiaocui, a young professional in Beijing, has been reading The Only Child with her three-year-old daughter, and very kindly agreed to an interview. She is known to some of us as Lisa, who does a phenomenal job at Candied Plums, sharing the best of China’s new picture books with readers around the world. Continue reading

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“Plums” for Your Tongue: Chinese Children’s Literature for Language Learners

One question I repeatedly hear from Chinese immigrant parents and Chinese language teachers in America is, where can they find books that children would enjoy reading at the same time as improving their Chinese. As we know about literacy acquisition and language learning, continual and active engagement with texts, through either shared reading with caregivers or voluntary independent reading, is crucial to the expansion of vocabulary, mastery of grammar, and growth in comprehension and composition skills. Continue reading

Starfish Bay Children’s Books

Starfish Bay Children’s Books is an independent publishing house based in Adelaide, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, and has published several children’s books translated from Chinese since 2015. Their website is colourful, and gives information about the authors and illustrators, and sample pages of the picture books. Continue reading

Author-illustrator Lipei Huang

Curious to know more the illustrator who created the cover of the new English edition of The Ventriloquist’s Daughter by LIN Man-Chiu, I tracked down Lipei HUANG 黃立佩 (it wasn’t difficult!) and asked if she’d tell us about herself and her work. Thank you, Lipei, for responding so quickly and in English! Continue reading

Who is Wenzheng Fu?

Wenzheng Fu 符文征 is the author and illustrator of the picture book Buddy Is So Annoying 《我真讨厌宝弟》 published in China in 2016, and now available in English, and in bilingual Chinese/English editions, thanks to Candied Plums and translator Adam Lanphier. This warm story about a little boy and his (sometimes annoying) friend Buddy, the boar, won a China Excellent Children’s Book Award in 2014. Continue reading

Stephanie Gou on how Bronze and Sunflower opened a door to her memories

Stephanie Gou (Gou Yao 勾尧) is a freelance writer based in the UK. As the mother of a daughter of pre-school age, she is looking out for good books, and has recently started reviewing children’s books from China. Her first review was about Cao Wenxuan’s Bronze and Sunflower (which she read in Chinese: 曹文轩:《青铜葵花》). The original review is in Chinese and available on WeChat. It’s interesting to see Bronze and Sunflower from Stephanie’s perspective, and, with her help, we’ve prepared an English version of it here. Continue reading

Chinese literature festival in London, 12-14 May

China in Context promises to be London’s first annual literature festival celebrating Chinese writers and writing. Lots of events for all ages, and over a 1000 books from suppliers Cypress Books!

China in Context, a UK celebration of writers and writing from and about China, will be held at China Exchange from 12-14 May.  Here’s the programme – see you there!

 

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