'Red classics' turn a page with print, digital edition

By Zhu Linyong (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-25 09:28

The books attract children and adults alike with their engrossing themes, vivid illustrations, suspenseful and succinct narrations and, of course, reasonable prices, said Zhao Gang, an editor with the People's Fine Arts Press and an avid collector of picture-story books.

Zhao still remembers many of the titles he read as a child.

"I saved every penny I got to buy picture-story books about war heroes, and historical and mythical figures," he recalled. "In a time of poverty and isolation, I found picture-story books a major source of knowledge. ... Reading picture-story books helped shape my worldview," Zhao said.

Shen Yaoyi, a renowned painter and illustrator, says that the development of the picture-story book in China is a miracle, and he believes it can enter a period of revival in the new century.

"This unique book genre once played an important role in promoting mainstream culture. I believe it can gain a foothold in the new era of digital media if we inject new elements into it," he said. Shen is best known as the creator of the award-winning The Red Ribbon of The Earth, an adaptation of a novel by Wei Wei about the Red Army's Long March in the 1930s.

All of the newly published red classic titles have been redesigned and marked with the logo "Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China", Chang Ruji said.

Chang added that with subsidies from the central government, the publishing house will soon donate these picture-story books to State-run libraries in remote, rural areas so that local farmers and their children can have more food for thought.

IPad users can get digital editions of these picture-story books, most in Chinese and some in English, from the Apps Store, said Wang Lijun, a technician with the China Publishing Group Digital Media Co Ltd.

"Each four titles cost only 0.99 yuan. I think readers will love it."

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CPC Heroes

Zhu De

Zhu De, born in Yilong County of Sichuan Province in 1886 and passed away in 1976, is a great Marxist, proletarian revolutionary, statesman and military strategist.

Chen Yi

A native of Le Zhi, in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, and awarded by the People's Republic of China the military rank of marshal; Served as the country's Vice Premier (1954-1972) and Foreign Minister (1958-1972)

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