“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Children's Literature in China

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Children’s Literature in China

It’s not so easy to find out about children’s literature in China. The most authoritative reference I could find was Mary Ann Farquhar’s Children’s Literature in China: from Lu Xun to Mao Zedong (M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY, 1999). But surely there must be something more recent that covers the 1970s to the 21st century?

[ Added info from Anna Chen, 28 March 2012: IBBY's journal Bookbird published a special edition on children's literature from China in 2006. You'll find the whole issue here, in PDF format. http://repository.uibk.ac.at/filestore/servlet/GetFile?id=HNMTBGWMHFPMSZXCSFOL. Anna's blog is also very useful: http://baodaobooks.blogspot.se/search/label/barnb%C3%B6cker ]

From Mary Ann Farquhar’s Children’s Literature in China: from Lu Xun to Mao Zedong:

Contents

  1. The Historical Background
    Traditional Children’s Books
    Western Impact on Chinese Children’s Literature
    May Fourth Children’s Literature
    Conclusion
  2. Lu Xun and the World of Children
    Lu Xun and Translations of Western Children’s Literature
    Lu Xun’s Early Translations in the Qing Dynasty
    Lu Xun and Children’s Literature in the Early May Fourth Period
    Lu Xun and Children’s Literature in the Later May Fourth Period
    Conclusion
  3. A New Children’s Literature
    Ye Shengtao’s Fairytales
    Bing Xin’s Letters to Young Readers
    Children’s Literature in the Inter-war Period 1921 to 1937
    Conclusion
  4. Revolutionary Children’s Literature
    Revolutionary Children’s Literature in the Pre-war Period
    Revolutionary Children’s Literature in the War Period
    Conclusion
  5. Comic Books and Popularization
    Chinese Comics between 1908 and Liberation in 1949
    Chinese Comics from 1949 to 1965
    Comic Books in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966 to 1976
    Conclusion
  6. Children’s Literature in the People’s Republic of China
    Children’s Literature from 1949 to May 1957
    Children’s Literature from 1957 to 1965
    Children’s Literature from 1966 to 1976
    Conclusion
  7. The Post-Mao Canon
    The Canon: Its Historical Development
    Canon Formation: The Politics of Education
    The Canon: Privileged Literary Forms and Genres
    Conclusion

Bibliography

Comments

# 1.   

Short Stories for Kids and Teens by Contemporary Shanghai Writers, published by Better Link Press (2009), ISBN 978-1602202276

Shanghai, the birthplace of Chinese children’s literature, remains a major source of contemporary works of Chinese children’s literature. The stories in these two collections, written between approximately 1980 and 2000, have been selected on the basis of an extensive survey. They stand out for their timelessness and their distinctive styles. Ban Ma’s story Fish Fantasy, which seemed to have been written in a long, rainy night, emanating a feeling of mystique; Mei Zihan’s On the Way with its attempt at a new style of discourse and narration; Jin Yiming’s Wilderness under the Moon with its insights and troubling possibilities. The animals in Shen Shixi’s stories, in addition to their natural wildness, also possess wisdom, rationality, and convictions. The Yellow Fox has a poignancy and an intensity that are beyond the ken of writers of the common run. Ren Dalin’s The Night Gatherer’s Offspring and Ren Daxing’s The Dragon King’s Temple are much cited works of children’s literature. They exerted an immense social influence with their themes of cultural concerns about family roots and hometown nostalgia. Ren Rongrong, in her fifty-to-sixty-year-long writing career, has produced a host of stories popular with children, such as The Brainless and the Unwilling and I, an Elastic Person. Zhou Rui’s The Barbershop is quite out of the ordinary and humorous. As for Peng Yi’s Red Umbrella, a beautiful story, Zhu Zhixiang’s Black Cat Police Chief, Lu Bing’s Little Piggie Nuni, and Sheng Ye’s The Thunder God and the Woodpecker — each has a distinctive quality all its own and is fun to read for children. Jia Li the Boy and Jia Min the Girl written by Qin Wenjun in the 1990s are also among the major representative works of Shanghai writers of children’s literature. [this text is copied from http://book.cultural-china.com/books239.html]

Helen Wang, September 9, 2012, 8:13p.m.

# 2.   

Short Stories for Kids and Teens by Contemporary Shanghai Writers, published by Better Link Press (2009), ISBN 978-1602202276

Shanghai, the birthplace of Chinese children’s literature, remains a major source of contemporary works of Chinese children’s literature. The stories in these two collections, written between approximately 1980 and 2000, have been selected on the basis of an extensive survey. They stand out for their timelessness and their distinctive styles. Ban Ma’s story Fish Fantasy, which seemed to have been written in a long, rainy night, emanating a feeling of mystique; Mei Zihan’s On the Way with its attempt at a new style of discourse and narration; Jin Yiming’s Wilderness under the Moon with its insights and troubling possibilities. The animals in Shen Shixi’s stories, in addition to their natural wildness, also possess wisdom, rationality, and convictions. The Yellow Fox has a poignancy and an intensity that are beyond the ken of writers of the common run. Ren Dalin’s The Night Gatherer’s Offspring and Ren Daxing’s The Dragon King’s Temple are much cited works of children’s literature. They exerted an immense social influence with their themes of cultural concerns about family roots and hometown nostalgia. Ren Rongrong, in her fifty-to-sixty-year-long writing career, has produced a host of stories popular with children, such as The Brainless and the Unwilling and I, an Elastic Person. Zhou Rui’s The Barbershop is quite out of the ordinary and humorous. As for Peng Yi’s Red Umbrella, a beautiful story, Zhu Zhixiang’s Black Cat Police Chief, Lu Bing’s Little Piggie Nuni, and Sheng Ye’s The Thunder God and the Woodpecker — each has a distinctive quality all its own and is fun to read for children. Jia Li the Boy and Jia Min the Girl written by Qin Wenjun in the 1990s are also among the major representative works of Shanghai writers of children’s literature. [this text is copied from http://book.cultural-china.com/books239.html]

Helen Wang, September 9, 2012, 8:15p.m.

# 3.   

Hi,I am just wondering how can I buy the children books in the U.S.? Do you know who is the distributor in North America? Thanks!

Florist, September 12, 2012, 4:12p.m.

# 4.   

You can buy through amazon. Better Link Books seems to be associated with Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company, whose books appear to be distributed through the University of Hawaii Press (http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/m-41-shanghai-press-and-publishing-development-company.aspx?pagenum=1 )

Helen Wang, September 13, 2012, 5:33a.m.

# 5.   

I am a Chinese children's writer, I have a picture story book <> published in the United States, can you help me?

sunny, February 20, 2016, 3:14a.m.

# 6.   

Peng Yi’s Red Umbrella, How can I get this story or other Chinese children's stories in English? Dina

Dina Schlesinger, May 2, 2016, 6:44a.m.

# 7.   

For Peng Yi's "Red Umbrella", see http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/books/books239.html

Helen Wang, May 3, 2016, 3:34p.m.

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