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Chinese children's literature shines on the world stage

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-03 09:10
The book cover of Bronze and Sunflower. [Photo/People's Daily]

In recent years, many original Chinese children's novels and picture books, with moving stories and Chinese elements, have reached great heights in the international markets.

According to Basic Situation of the National Press and Publishing Industry in 2016 by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China, children's books clocked 7.3 million volumes, accounting for 50.33 percent of all books exported.

Three factors have greatly contributed to the growth: the depth of the story, traditional Chinese elements and emotions of the characters.

The meaning of children's books lies in conveying the profound connotation behind the story. Through the unique interpretation of the humanity and the environment, writers resonate with Chinese and Western readers.

Cao Wenxuan, winner of Hans Christian Andersen Award, can demonstrate the significance of the depth of the story. The English version Bronze and Sunflower by Cao was published in 2015 by a British company, and republished in 2017. It was included in "the voice of the world -- the world's most beautiful novel series", receiving wide acclaim from the Western media.

The book tells the story of the growing relationship between unrelated siblings, city girl, Sunflower, and country boy, Bronze, from a child's perspective. The author displays the extreme struggle of the characters in the face of hardship, and describes the true, the good and the beautiful in human nature with vigor and warmth.

"Reading bronze and sunflower adventures means immersing yourself in rural China, good or bad," said the New York Times book review. "Their daily life may be different from American children, but their emotions and relationships are common."

According to the search report of the world library data platform, the number of collection of the book has reached 825. More than 100 overseas readers commented on online reading social platform like Amazon Bookstore and Goodreads. The depth of a book endows it with communication and influence beyond national boundaries.

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