Ahead of the Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, which runs November 13–15, the winners of the first Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award were announced today at the Baoshan International Folk Arts Exposition.
The best international picture books, with prize money of 20,000 yuan (or $3,140) each, went to:
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton (Walker Books, U.K.)
The Ballad of Mulan by Clemence Pollet (HongFei Cultures, France)
Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Roaring Brook/Porter, U.S.)
The Running Town by Wang Yadong (Hsin Yi Publications, Taiwan)
The Smoke by Cao Wenxuan (21st Century Publishing Group, China)
The picture books are chosen by an international jury of nine experts, which includes children’s literature consultant Maria Jesus Gil (Spain), illustrator Piet Grobler (South Africa/U.K.), and children’s literature specialist Nathalie Beau (France). For the jury, this award is about “showcasing the very best in storytelling, illustration and presentation.”
Awards are also given to the best contribution to children’s magazines and the best literary works, many with intriguing titles such as “Kakasha the Water Monster,” “Qingdie and the Celadon Plate,” “I Wish to Grow into a Green Chinese Onion,” and “The Bald-Headed Principal.”
Danish illustrator Hanne Bartholin (Frida and Bear) was named the Best Author of the Year while former principal of Zhejiang Normal University, professor Jiang Feng, was recognized with a special contribution award.
The Chen Bochui prize, which was first awarded in 1981, was opened up to international publishers last year, with the aim of promoting excellence in children’s publishing and cultural diversity, and encouraging reading. Chen Bochui (1906–1997), considered to be the father of modern children’s literature in China, was widely regarded as the “Hans Christian Andersen of the East.” He translated Pushkin’s fairy tales, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Don Quixote into Chinese in the 1940s, and dedicated his life to education and reading. His life savings, which amounted to $8,900 (or 55,000 yuan), was donated to establish a children’s literature award, which now plays a major role in China’s literary scene.