The Story of the Blue Planet chosen best children’s book in China

When your book comes out in a faraway place, behind mountains and rainbows, in a language you can not comprehend, it can be difficult to follow how it is doing. It becomes unreal and you ask yourself? Did it reach any readers? Is it is available at all?

I recently saw on the the internet that The Story of the Blue Planet just won one of the best children’s book prizes in China with votes from more than 50.000 children. I found this information here on the webpage – Chinese books for Young Readers:

So I imagine this is my searching for Sugarman moment. That I am famous somewhere without knowing it. I repost some this source here, about the prize, the jury etc…:

The  “My Favourite Children’s Books” (我最喜爱的童书) titles of 2019 have just been announced. The winning books are selected by children (the first award of its kind in China). [The awards are similar to the annual Children’s Book Awards in the UK – if you’d like to compare, the UK list starts with 50, is shortlisted to 10 – here’s the 2019 list, which has 3 winners and 7 runners-up.]

“My Favourite Children’s Books” was initiated by Shenzhen Children’s Library 深圳少年儿童图书馆 in 2014, and this year’s list was the sixth. The 2019 awards were co-organised by 39 provincial and city libraries. From January 2019, 5455 books were recommended by 129 institutions and 207 individuals. A panel of 9 experts was involved (see below). 100,000 books were purchased and distributed to 312 schools in 39 provinces and cities across China. A total of 1,309,111 votes were cast.

A total of 30 books (2019年我最喜爱的童书30强) have been selected, 10 in each category: literature, picture books, information books. It’s remarkable how many of these are translations from English and other languages, and how the awards appear to boost distribution and sales of the selected books (and sets of the winning books).

This post is based on the online account published on Wechat/Weixin by Tiantian chubanshe (Tomorrow Publishing House), on 28 Oct 2019.  I’ve added links to all the Chinese books, as listed on the Shenzhen Children’s Library website (which has additional information about the books). I’ve tried to identify the English and foreign titles of these Top 30 books, to make this list more accessible to English readers, and to provide weblinks where possible (many thanks to Minjie Chen for her help). I’ve also created a pdf (see below) showing the covers of all the books, side by side with the covers of the foreign titles.

The expert panel

  • LIN Wenbao 林文宝  (Taiwan) – expert in children’s reading
  • WANG Yizhen 王宜振  – writer of children’s literature, poet
  • ZHOU Mimi 周蜜蜜 – member, Hong Kong Writers Association
  • DING Xiaoqing 丁筱青 – Associate Professor, Yangzhou College of Education
  • GUO Hua 郭骅 – expert in children’s literature and psychology
  • DAI Yingyuan 戴颖媛 – national reading promoter, Shenzhen
  • YAO Haijun 姚海军 – deputy editor, Science Fiction World magazine
  • XI Zhinong 奚志农 – wildlife photographer
  • SHI Jun 史军 – botanist; member, Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators

Gold, silver and bronze titles (source of images: Douban)

Gold: [冰] 安德里·斯奈·德纳森/著;[冰]奥丝拉格·琼斯多特尔/绘;刘清彦/译 《蓝色星星的孩子国》(贵州出版集团   贵州人民出版社)-  The Story of the Blue Planet, by Andri Snaer Magnason (Iceland), tr. LIU Qingyan  (total votes: 58,141)

Silver: [美] 米歇尔·奎瓦斯/著;黄鸿砚/译 《我是你的隐形朋友》 (天津出版传媒集团  新蕾出版社)  –  Confessions of an Imaginary Friend, by Michelle Cuevas (USA), tr. HUANG Hongyan  (total votes: 51090)

Bronze: [日] 角野荣子/著;[日]大庭贤哉/绘;魏雯/译 《隧道的森林》(长江出版传媒   长江少年儿童出版社)   –  《トンネルの森1945》 [The Tunnel Through the Woods], by Eiko Kadano (Japan), tr. WEI Wen   (total votes: 45966)

More information about all the categories can be found on the page. But this is great news! I have actually met some children in China that were reading the book. The Video is right here:

The Casket of Time has also been published in China. Looking forward to see how it is doing there.

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