Chinese writer and Brazilian illustrator birds of a feather

Updated: 2013-10-15 07:39

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

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Chinese writer and Brazilian illustrator birds of a feather

A newly released picture book is a collaboration between Chinese author Cao Wenxuan and Brazilian Roger Mello. [Photo by Mei Jia / China Daily]

Mello travels a lot, and he always draws inspiration on local culture and tradition from his journeys. With his longtime interest in capturing the beauty of birds and inspiration from a porcelain museum, he gives Cao's words new life with images and color.

Both the creators have been nominees of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's top award for children's books.

Author Gao Hongbo says he believes such international cooperation was unlikely for Chinese writers 30 years ago.

Cao agrees, saying: "We haven't actually had a mature market for picture books until recently. Years ago, the concept of consumer was different and the buying ability was low."

Cao believes China's economic growth opens up huge market potential for picture books in the country. "Picture books will also give the world a better insight into Chinese children's books," he adds.

Cao says he completed 20 stories for picture books in the past two years.

Li Xueqian, president of the book's Chinese publisher, says he will promote more cooperation between Chinese creators and their international peers.

Li also says the publishing group is to put in 2 million yuan ($327,000) every year to encourage the creation of original picture books.

Expecting a Chinese writer to win the HC Anderson Award, writer Jin Bo, who was at the launching event, says he hopes there will be more chance for the award jury to get to know Chinese children's books better.

Maria Jesus Gil, veteran Spanish editor and jury president of the 2014 HC Andersen Award, who has visited China once in the 1990s, says she is also interested to learn more about Chinese books.


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