“Children Picture Books from China” graces Frankfurt Book Fair
Opening ceremony of “Children Picture Books from China” book exhibition
On October 19th, the “Children Picture Books from China”, a themed exhibition of children’s picture books, and “Fun with Chinese”, an exhibition of creative Chinese teaching products, hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters were officially unveiled at the Children’s Books Centre of Frankfurt Book Fair.
Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters; Renate Reichstein, President of the Association of German Children's Book Publishers and Claudia Kaiser, Vice President of Frankfurt Book Fair; attended the opening ceremony and delivered remarks. A total of more than 100 representatives from over 50 domestic and international publishing and educational institutes attended the opening ceremony, visited the exhibition stalls and had cordial communications in a lively atmosphere.
Crowded exhibition stalls
“Children Picture Books from China” selected 197 original works from nearly one thousand picture books collected by 500 publishing houses in China and put them on exhibition this time, among which there were many exquisite books wining national or international awards, water-ink papercutting collections featuring “Chinese style”, newly emerged picture books in the past two years and some classical Chinese picture book series and cartoons. The exhibited picture books cover a wide range of forms and genres. Through the texts and pictures created by Chinese writers and illustrators, the unique beauty of Chinese picture books was demonstrated on an international stage, marking a meaningful attempt to engage Chinese picture books with global readers.
Crowded exhibition stalls
Many publishing institutes, publishers and copyright agents were carefully browsing the picture books excitedly and highly commended the collections. Obi, Head of the Chinese Language Section of International Youth Library in Munich, said, “Although we have seen many books from China in previous book fairs, the picture books for children used to be buried in volumes of books and were hard to be collected properly. I have always hoped for such a themed book fair for nearly a decade. And it marks a significant milestone in the course of publishing industry for children in China.” Ishikawa Ikuko, Board Director of Poplar Publishing, noted, “I feel excited and delighted after attending this book fair. Looking at the beautiful and professional presentations, I find it such a worthwhile course to make picture books.” Many other publishers also expressed their happiness in witnessing the popularity and innovativeness of the Chinese exhibition stall.
Local children reading awarded picture books from China
The exhibition also established a display of innovative Chinese language teaching products on the theme of “Fun with Chinese”, which included more than 10 innovative Chinese learning experience products, aiming at guiding the audience to experience and enjoy the immeasurable fun of Chinese learning through painting, physical sensation, 3D animation, handicraft and mobile games.
Dialogue on the topic “Discovering Chinese Children’s Picture Books”
On the same day, at the Kids Stage area of Frankfurt Book Fair, Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters; Xiong Liang, a renowned illustrator; and Ajia, a famous reading promoter, held a dialogue together on the theme of “Discovering Chinese Children’s Picture Books”, which aroused the great interest and passion among the audience. A total of 50 professors and teachers of the Department for Children's and Young Adult Literature Research at Goethe University, Frankfurt, paid a special visit to the event and participated in the discussion on literature. On October 20th, Lu Nei and Yu Yishuang, the representative Chinese writers of the post-70s and post-80s generations, appeared on the International Stage, where they launched the “New Literary Voices from China” program.
“New Literary Voices from China” launched at the International Stage
In the following sessions, the exhibition stall of the Confucius Institute Headquarters will launch a series of intriguing activities, such as inviting international designer teams to visit the exhibition, hosting communication activities between Chinese and foreign illustrators, workshops on Chinese and Western children’s literature, organising the prize-awarding ceremony of “Talented Young Illustrators in Germany” and “Global Illustrators” with the participation of Chinese picture book authors and illustrators.
Currently, many overseas cultural institutions have extended their welcome to the “Children Picture Books from China” exhibition and expressed their expectation for a global tour of this series.