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Children's book expert: visual storytelling books gaining popularity

2023-04-23 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- The trend of visual storytelling books has become increasingly popular among children in recent years, with graphic novels favored by more lower grades in primary schools, said a Children’s book expert.

This year's award list of the Bologna Children's Book Fair shows that there were more original children's books from China, according to Xie Fengbei (Solene Xie), who has attended the international book fair at least 14 times since 2006.

Xie said picture books showcasing themes related to China's intangible cultural heritage had become increasingly favored by foreign publishers in recent years, such as "An Outstanding Female Embroiderer," which tells a legend 300 years ago. A kind-hearted embroidery girl was eager to learn the skill. Inspired and guided by an expert, she mastered the skill of cross-stitch embroidery and brought benefits to the local people.

Xie found that overseas children's books are breaking the traditional boundaries of picture books, comics, graphic novels, and illustrated children's literature, as many new books have emerged between these forms, making story-telling more diverse and rich.

The topics of ethnic diversity, breaking down racial prejudice and gender prejudice, and environmental protection are hot topics among foreign books, said Xie, who is also a translator and a consultant for the Shanghai International Children's Book Fair.

However, Xie said, excellent children's books share common characteristics. Whether produced in China or overseas, they feature beautiful illustrations and good text. 

Overseas publishers are more interested in books about Chinese children's growth, and some original stories that are humorous and with childlike wonders, Xie said.


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