.contact us |.about us
News > Lifestyle News ...
Local kid's writers need bit of Potter in their patter
( 2003-09-22 08:39) (China Daily)

Children's books are always an important part of the book market. This is borne out by this year's Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF).

Young school students enjoy the colourful books at the children's section in Beijing Book Mansion in Xidan, in downtown Beijing. The huge bookstore offers about 20,000 different titles for young readers. [China Daily]
Many companies use the venue to promote the sales of their latest publications for children. Among them are both firms that define themselves as children's books publishers, and newcomers who covet the generous returns.

Just days before the opening of BIBF, the Jieli Publishing House, based in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, presented the country's young book-lovers with a Chinese translation of the Peggy Sue series.

Peggy Sue, a teenage witch created by renowned French writer Serge Brussolo, has been regarded as France's answer to Harry Potter, who has captivated the heart of the international reading world.

On Sunday, the Chinese translation of the fifth volume in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," hit major bookstores in downtown Beijing, again drawing crowds of youngsters.

The Peggy Sue books have sold like hotcakes in France since they came out two years ago, and have been translated into 37 languages.

At the Chinese premiere held in Beijing Books Mansion earlier this month, the largest bookstore in Beijing, the books attracted the attention of many young book-lovers.

Middle school students crowded the first floor of the bookstore, waiting in a long queue to buy the books.

According to Jieli, based on the market responses so far, it is estimated that a total of 1 million copies could be sold on the Chinese mainland.

Zhejiang Juvenile and Children's Publishing House, one of the leaders in the children's book market, first marketed its "Tiger Team" series, written by Austrian author Thomas Brezina in 2001, and more than 4.6 million copies have been sold since, making it the best-selling children's book in China.

The latest best-seller marketed by the China Juvenile and Children's Publishing House is the Peter Rabbit series of British writer Beatrix Potter.

The children's book market in China is getting busy with all the bustle these international best-sellers have brought.

Local contenders are still not strong enough to draw readers' attention, given the intense market competition.

Local children's literature circle have begun a new round of cliche-like discussions: What are Chinese children's literature writers doing, and why do they always fall short of their foreign counterparts?

According to Ding Yang, a reporter at China Reading Weekly, while it might have been the case several years ago, it is now unfair to blame local authors for their lack of interest in writing children's books.

Many renowned writers, such as Qin Wenjun, Chang Xingang, Zhou Rui and Ren Rongrong, have all published new children's books this year.

New authors have also mushroomed. Yang Hongying, who used to be a primary school teacher, has published a series of new books which deal with boys and girls and their life at school.

Rao Xueman, Yu Yujun and Wu Meizhen are three young female children's literature authors who share similar styles. Beginning this year, they are publishing their books under the trade mark "Huayishang (Florid Clothes)" and expect to build it into a well-known brand name for Chinese children's books.

"Although their works might not be as influential as that of their foreign counterparts, local authors are becoming a force and are moving into the competition," said Ding.

But they still need to learn more if they are to catch up with the international best-sellers.

One of the most obvious differences between Chinese and foreign children's literature is the lack of vivid imagination in local authors' works.

Bai Bing, editor-in-chief of the Jieli Publishing House, attributed the success of Peggy Sue series to its wonderful flights of imagination.

"There are fascinating images, for instance, cactuses sneezing and spitting out needles, old shoes rioting and beating their owners. Yet these fantasies are rooted in daily life, making young Peggy seem like a living person, rather than merely a character in a book," said Bai.

As more overseas bestsellers pour into China, Bai believes that local writers will be more exposed to the outside world and get more inspiration for their own creation. 

  Today's Top News   Top Lifestyle News
+First private publications venture OK'd
( 2003-09-22)
+Endangered tiger endangers men
( 2003-09-22)
+16 stranded on small island in Tibet
( 2003-09-22)
+US$9.7 billion to roll into auto industry
( 2003-09-22)
+Children open first Olympics fest
( 2003-09-22)
+Serene beauty of landlocked Xiangxi
( 2003-09-22)
+Local kid's writers need bit of Potter in their patter
( 2003-09-22)
+Beijing kicks off inaugural Olympic Cultural Festival
( 2003-09-21)
+City of Springs offers refreshing experiences
( 2003-09-21)
+Under the hammer: Auctions in China
( 2003-09-21)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
  Related Articles  

+Harry Potter

+Harry Potter author wins award

        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved