Contribution to children's literature enhance dialogue with world

China's contribution to children's literature can enhance the country's dialogue with the world, experts said on Wednesday at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy.

Earlier this week, Peking University professor Cao Wenxuan, 62, was named at the fair as winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Prize, a biennial award - a gold medallion presented by the Queen of Denmark - given to a living author for a "lasting contribution to children's literature."

"The Chinese children's literature is a very developing and international field, there are a lot of books coming in from overseas and being published in China," said Harriet Petty, international relationships department manager at Beijing-based China Children's Book Expo, an annual exposition which held its first edition in China in May last year.

"And actually one of the focuses of our expo is trying to get more Chinese books out into the rest of the world as well," said Petty, who is from England.

"There are a lot of really beautiful works, amazing illustrators in China and very talented writers, both young and established ones.I think the rest of the world would be interested in,"she said.

Petty defined Chinese professionals in this field as very open to work with foreigners, in a very welcoming environment.

Jacopo Della Ragione, creative director at the China Children's Book Expo, noted that China has not the same long tradition in publishing children's books as Italy has. For this reason, China's publishers are facing some difficulties, the Italian said.

"They are a lot, eager to have more international contents, and they are a bit afraid to create new things," he said.

But by living and working in China, Della Ragione, who comes from a graphic design background, has observed that Chinese people learn very fast.

"I remember that Chinese graphic designers would see Italian design as something unachievable at the beginning, yet they were learning and improving at very fast pace. It is just a matter of a few years, and the Western world is going to be in a situation where we are learning from what is coming from China," he said.

Industry professionals, Della Ragione went on saying, play a key role in improving the quality of children's books in maintaining the attention focused on children, and on creating a habit of reading books.

In his view, it is particularly important to encourage Chinese children to develop their own style and creativity besides visual techniques. "We work a lot with them, and I think they are very smart, they like to learn and grasp tools such as the English language. I think they are going to take over the world," he said.

"My office is in charge of selling rights, we sell to publishers in China and we have been doing so for many years," said LeeAnn Bortolussi, international foreign rights manager at Giunti Editore Group, Italy's largest publisher of children's books which on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with China Publishing Group at the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

"China's publishers in themselves are fantastic, and I must say that we would not be where we are today without the help of very good Chinese agents who collaborate with us," the American said.

"Chinese publishers always want to know from us which books have sold the best, which books have received awards, and they always want to know a lot about the authors and the illustrators. I think this curiosity shows how much they care deeply and know the importance of children's books," said Bortolussi.

"And so we take our best titles, our best sellers, and also the things that we think communicate most a kind of international feeling of goodwill, growth and happiness for children," she said.

No comments:

Post a Comment