Chinese-themed children's book comes into spotlight at London Book Fair
A visitor reads "Shu Lin's Grandpa" at London Book Fair in London, Britain, April 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
LONDON, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Shu Lin's Grandpa, a children's picture book illustrated by British-Chinese artist Yu Rong, was showcased at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, sparking heated discussions about how to better tell Chinese stories to international readers.
This book tells a story about Shu Lin, a Chinese immigrant girl, who finds it hard to gain acceptance in her new school, until her grandfather saves the day. The book combines paper-cutting and ink painting with other Chinese elements to create a painting style that is both classical and modern.
Shu Lin's Grandpa, published in Chinese by Dandelion Children's Bookstore and in English by Otter-Barry Books, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal this year, which is a prominent children's book award for illustration in Britain.
Nowadays, many across the world are eager to learn about about China through stories about Chinese civilization and contemporary China. At the London Book Fair on Tuesday, Chinese children's bestsellers staged a brainstorming event on how to bring Chinese-themed books to the world audience.
"The rich illustrations combined with the celebration of Chinese culture which Shu Lin's Grandpa represents made for a thought-provoking read. It has really instilled in me the desire to visit China, in particular to explore the traditional ink artwork and heritage it hints at," said Marianne Simon, an MA student majoring in publishing and creative writing at Kingston University.
"We aim to help international young readers discover more about Chinese children's books," said award-winning translator Helen Wang at the group discussion organized by "Global Youth Readers," an international youth reading exchange platform initiated by China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation.
Wang noted that translators always play a crucial role in terms of bringing more Chinese books to international readers.
Nicky Harman, another UK-based prize-winning translator, said there are more and more young talented translators helping international readers to better understand China.
The book fair, one of the world's biggest publishing trade fairs, is set to run until Thursday with more than 900 exhibitors. This year, more than 60 Chinese publishers participated in the fair, the first in-person edition of the event since 2019. ■
Photo taken on April 5, 2022 shows the children's picture book "Shu Lin's Grandpa" at London Book Fair in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
British-Chinese artist Yu Rong (2nd L, 2nd row) poses for photos with readers and staff at London Book Fair in London, Britain, April 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
British-Chinese artist Yu Rong displays the children's picture book "Shu Lin's Grandpa" at London Book Fair in London, Britain, April 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Ying)