I am Fengxia Tan, fellow for three months at the International Youth Library. I teach children’s literature in Nanjing Normal University and often give some public lectures to promote children’s reading in China. I translated some English children’s books into Chinese and help publishers to select excellent foreign children’s books to publish. One of my research goals is to propel communications of Chinese and other countries’ children’s literature.
There are very few publishers in China who are familiar with the IYL in Munich, Germany, therefore I decided to share some information about this international library with some publishers.
A collection of Chinese picture books and magazines were recently sent to the IYL from the publisher Dong Fang Wa Wa (Oriental Kids). Dong Fang Wa Wa (henceforth, DFWW) was founded by Jiangsu Children’s Publishing House and Nanjing Normal University Press, and belongs to Phoenix Publisher, the biggest publishing group in China. DFWW aims to publish high-quality children’s magazines and native or foreign picture books to promote Chinese children’s early reading. Their magazine was the first in China to promote such a mission. The director of this magazine, Zhou Xiang, who is also an important illustrator of Chinese picture books, was very happy to donate some copies of their books and magazines, and added that he would like to regularly send Chinese picture books and magazines to the IYL in the future.
The books that were recently sent from DFWW to the IJB include some important Chinese native picture books, as well as copies of their magazine, Dong Fang Bao Bao (Oriental Babies Picture Books) spanning the years 2011-2013. The picture books received include some impressive titles.
For example,《团圆》Tuan Yuan (Reunion) , written by Yu Liqiong – who is also the editor of DFWW – and illustrated by Zhu Chengliang. This book won the First Feng Zikai Picture Books Award in 2009 and was selected as one of the best children’s picture books by The New York Times in 2011.
Additionally,《一园青菜成了精》Yi Yuan Qing Cai Chengle Jing（A Garden of Greens Come to Life) adapted from a northern Chinese nursery rhyme and illustrated by Zhou Xiang also won Feng Zikai Picture Books Award in 2009.
In recent years, there has been a trend to create “typical” Chinese style picture books in order to “give Chinese children a memorable China” (see my chapter “Breakout and Bondage: the Nationalization of Chinese Picturebooks” in a newly published book which is edited by Åse Marie Ommundsen, Looking out and Looking in: National Identity in Picturebooks of the New Millennium, Novus, 2013.) Zhou Xiang, as the director of DFWW, is dedicated to creating and publishing Chinese picture books. He hopes that children in other countries will come to love and enjoy Chinese picture books and magazines, as is evinced by his generous, recent donation to the IYL.
We cordially thank Fengxia Tan for her help in extending our Chinese collection!