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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: china, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. ‘Little Door Gods’ To Be Released in China by Alibaba Pictures

The debut feature from Light Chaser Animation now has the backing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

0 Comments on ‘Little Door Gods’ To Be Released in China by Alibaba Pictures as of 9/2/2015 2:29:00 AM
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2. How well do you know Lao Tzu? [quiz]

This August we are featuring Lao Tzu, the legendary Chinese thinker and founder of Taoism, as Philosopher of the Month. He is best known as the author of the classic ‘Tao Te Ching’ (‘The Book of the Way and its Power’). Take our quiz to see how much you know about the life and studies of Lao Tzu!

The post How well do you know Lao Tzu? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on How well do you know Lao Tzu? [quiz] as of 8/29/2015 4:23:00 AM
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3. Raman Hui Wasn’t Prepared for the Monster Success of ‘Monster Hunt’

"Monster Hunt" is now the most financially successful Chinese film ever made.

0 Comments on Raman Hui Wasn’t Prepared for the Monster Success of ‘Monster Hunt’ as of 8/26/2015 6:27:00 PM
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4. The new social contracts

Fire and collapse in Bangladeshi factories are no longer unexpected news, and sweatshop scandals are too familiar. Conflicting moral, legal, and political claims abound. But there have been positives, and promises of more. The best hope for progress may be in the power of individual contracts.

The post The new social contracts appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. China’s Original Force Announces New LA Studio and Feature ‘Duck Duck Goose’

Former DreamWorks and Sony execs Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox are leading Original Force's push into feature animation.

0 Comments on China’s Original Force Announces New LA Studio and Feature ‘Duck Duck Goose’ as of 1/1/1900
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6. ‘Kwai Boo’ and ‘Mr. Black’ Add Fuel to China’s On-Fire Animated Feature Market

'Mr. Black' and 'Kwang Boo' are another reminder China is increasingly self-reliant when it comes to creating and consuming cartoon features.

0 Comments on ‘Kwai Boo’ and ‘Mr. Black’ Add Fuel to China’s On-Fire Animated Feature Market as of 1/1/1900
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7. 5 Things You Need To Know About The Chinese/American Feature ‘Rock Dog’

Director Ash Brannon, animation studio Reel FX, and actors Luke Wilson and Eddie Izzard are all involved in this Chinese animated feature.

0 Comments on 5 Things You Need To Know About The Chinese/American Feature ‘Rock Dog’ as of 8/3/2015 1:45:00 PM
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8. Philosopher of the month: Lao Tzu

Lao (Laozi) Tzu is credited as the founder of Taoism, a Chinese philosophy and religion. An elusive figure, he was allegedly a learned yet reclusive official at the Zhōu court (1045–256 BC) – a lesser aristocrat of literary competence who worked as a copyist and archivist. Scholars have variously dated his life to between the third and sixth centuries BC, but he is best known as the author of the classic Tao Te Ching (‘The Book of the Way and its Power’).

The post Philosopher of the month: Lao Tzu appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. ‘Snow Queen’ Becomes The First Russian Animated Feature Released in China

Chinese distributor Flame Node is also expected to co-produce Wizart's "Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice."

0 Comments on ‘Snow Queen’ Becomes The First Russian Animated Feature Released in China as of 7/31/2015 3:19:00 PM
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10. ‘Seer 5: Rise of Thunder’ Is Another Animated Feature from China

It's the fifth feature in a cartoon series that you probably haven't heard about in the West.

0 Comments on ‘Seer 5: Rise of Thunder’ Is Another Animated Feature from China as of 7/29/2015 4:17:00 PM
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11. If You Were Me and Lived in … China: A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World | Dedicated Review

If You Were Me and Lived In … China is an easy read and a fun way to introduce the People’s Republic of China to children.

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12. Breaking: ‘Monkey King’ Breaks Chinese Record, Surpasses ‘Kung Fu Panda 2′

China has a new all-time animation champ...and it's a Chinese-made animated feature!

0 Comments on Breaking: ‘Monkey King’ Breaks Chinese Record, Surpasses ‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ as of 7/26/2015 1:54:00 AM
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13. Light Chaser Reveals New Details, Release Date For ‘Little Door Gods’

The film promises Chinese animation like you've never seen before.

0 Comments on Light Chaser Reveals New Details, Release Date For ‘Little Door Gods’ as of 7/23/2015 8:24:00 PM
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14. Disney Lawyers Think China’s ‘Autobots’ Looks Like ‘Cars’

"The Autobots" was a flop with Chinese audiences, but Disney lawyers are watching it closely.

0 Comments on Disney Lawyers Think China’s ‘Autobots’ Looks Like ‘Cars’ as of 7/23/2015 6:06:00 PM
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15. Forget ‘Minions,’ ‘Monster Hunt’ and ‘Monkey King’ Smash Chinese Box Office Records

The Chinese box office made a bold statement this weekend.

0 Comments on Forget ‘Minions,’ ‘Monster Hunt’ and ‘Monkey King’ Smash Chinese Box Office Records as of 7/19/2015 6:24:00 PM
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16. No Parking

No Parking

भारत की ज्यादातर आबादी पार्किंग की समस्या से जूझ रही है। निसंदेह, वाहनों की आबादी इतनी बढती जा रही है कि खडे करने को जगह नही और तो और इस भयंकर गर्मी में और भी एक समस्या देखने को मिल रही है… असल में, वो क्या है ना कि भयंकर गर्मी के चलते  लोग खुले मे कार खडी करने को मजबूर है क्योकि अब पेड  तो रहे नही और लोग वाहन खडा करके खुद ए सी रूम में चले जाते हैं और लाखों की कार  बाहर खडी तपती रहती है. मजबूरी में लोग ‘नो पार्किंग’ वाली जगहों पर गाड़ियां खड़ी करते हैं..

No Parking cartoon no parking by monica gupta

ऐसे मे इन महाशय ने ये जगह खरीद ली है. और पेड के छांव  में इन्होने पार्किंग के रेट भी बढा दिए हैं  और जो भी कोई आसपास खडा हो जाता है उसे धमका भी देते हैं …

 

No Parking

 

Parking Problems in India and Their Solutions | My India

India is facing a new problem nowadays – lack of sufficient parking space. With families getting smaller and the total number of motor vehicles exceeding the total number of heads per family, the parking scenario is woefully falling short of the current requirements in the country. The situation is such that on any given working day approximately 40% of the roads in urban India are taken up for just parking the cars. The problem has been further exacerbated by the fact that nowadays even people from low income group are able to own cars. The number of families with cars has become much more than what the country is able to manage.

As it is, the cities in India are highly congested and on top of that the parked cars claim a lot of space that could otherwise be used in a better way. Thanks to poor, and at times zero, navigability, Indian cities are regarded as some of the worst options for living. One can also add the issue of pollution to this mix and understand the enormity of the crisis. In this context it needs to be understood that the Indian cities, with the possible exception of Chandigarh, were never planned in such a way so as to accommodate a deluge of cars as is the situation now. The apathy of present day urban planners has only made the situation worse.

Possible Solutions to the Menace

There are some other ways to solve car parking issues, such as multi-level car parking. Multi-level car parking is of two types – conventional and automated. Conventional multi-level car parking can be done anywhere – over the ground or under it. The open parking areas are more preferred as opposed to closed areas in case of parking above the ground as specialised fire protection systems and mechanical ventilation are not needed in this case. Automated multi-level car parking is more difficult to achieve in India considering the fact that it is entirely technology driven and does not involve much human element. As it stands now, India and Indians might not be ready for this technology. The more conventional option seems to be the better bet. Read more…

No Parking

The post No Parking appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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17. Red Butterfly

There are some stories that are SO tender that you finish them and want to pick it up and start over.  That is what A. L. Sonnichensen's Red Butterfly was to me.  It is a very touching story of Kara - a baby abandoned at birth and taken in by an american woman living in China.  What we find out a ways into the story is that Kara's "mama" is not legally in China and Kara has never been officially adopted.  Kara is immediately taken away, at age 11, and sent to an orphanage to start over with her life.  Her emotions are tender and raw and her anger and hurt is real.  When another family, from Florida, is chosen to be her new family, Kara doesn't desire to be a part of their family and her confusion and frustration are so real that I ached right along with her.  The novel is told in prose and I loved literally EVERYTHING about it - tender, touching and oh so wonderful!

 

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18. ‘Doraemon’ Beats ‘American Sniper’ at Japanese Box Office

America's deadliest marksman gets taken out by a loveable blue robotic cat creature.

0 Comments on ‘Doraemon’ Beats ‘American Sniper’ at Japanese Box Office as of 3/9/2015 5:38:00 PM
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19. ‘Door Guardians’ Teaser Shows Off China’s CGI Capabilities

Chinese animation studio Light Chaser Animation previews its first feature "Door Guardians," set for 2016 release. .

0 Comments on ‘Door Guardians’ Teaser Shows Off China’s CGI Capabilities as of 3/11/2015 2:36:00 AM
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20. ReedPOP Announces New Show in Shanghai, To Be Held in May

SHCC-ch-logoSHCC-en-logo

 


So, ReedPOP adds another show to their already crazy schedule, in China!  (Scroll down to the bottom to see the calendar!  Next up: Emerald City!)

Here are some tidbits, for those who enjoy this sort of thing….

The sales kit!

Of note: Reed Exhibitions Greater China has 500 staffers, and numerous field offices.  Most of the contacts listed on the site are in China.

SHCECThe “convention center“.  (65 minutes by maglev and Metro from the airport.)

16,000㎡ exhibition hall is divided into three levels. The first and the second floor is 6,500 ㎡ respectively, and the third floor is 3,000 ㎡, totally holding 890 standard booths.

6500 square meters = 70,000 sq.ft.   3000 sq.m = 32,000 sq.ft.

That’s 172,ooo square feet of exhibition space.   Equivalent to Halls F+G+H in San Diego, or Hall 3A + half of 3B at Javits.

Aw fiddlesticks!   The SCECIS website doesn’t have specific pages I can link to.  One second while I insert the plans…

shanghai 1shanghai 2shanghai 3shanghai 3m

SCC pearl

“Hall H” (Ballroom 301)  32,292 sq.ft., seats 2,975 people.

The third floor also has a mezzanine, double-stacking some meeting rooms.  Also, there’s an outdoor roof garden.


 

PR:

Expansion into China Marks Steady Growth Around the Globe Following Additions in India, France and Australia

NEW YORK, March 11, 2015  – ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, is continuing to blanket the world with amazing  fan events as it marks its entrance into the biggest consumer market on the planet – China. Today, the company announces the debut of Shanghai Comic Convention on May 16-17, 2015. This singular event will bring the worlds of comics, cinema, television, toys and videogames to fans from all across Asia. As with all ReedPOP fan events, Shanghai Comic Convention will be a place to meet creators, stars, and actors while discovering exclusive content and the latest pop culture news from around the world. The inaugural event will take place at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing (CECIS).

“China is a massive frontier for ReedPOP, a huge market and boundless community of fans that we are eager and enthusiastic to build events for,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. “This is a huge opportunity for the millions of fans in the country who haven’t experienced a ReedPOP event and we can’t wait to see how they respond. Geekdom is a universal language and we’re sure that the Chinese people will celebrate fan culture in their own unique and amazing ways.”

In recent years, ReedPOP has turned its attention internationally, recognizing new pop culture audiences emerging throughout the world, where it has produced once-in-a-lifetime experiences for these fans and connected exhibitors to hungry, unexplored markets.  ReedPOP’s previous global events have been set in London, Paris, Germany, India, and Singapore, and the company planted its biggest global flag in Australia. ReedPOP created an Australian team to launch PAX Australia — bringing the US’s largest consumer video game festival to the continent with a sold-out event — and partnered with Oz Comic-Con, spreading the pop culture event series out over six cities around Australia.

Since ReedPOP’s first event in 2006, the sold-out New York Comic Con, the group has sought to dually produce exceptional experiences for passionate audiences and grow the industries surrounding these passions, and this philosophy has led to burgeoning attendance, the support of major creators and publishers, and partnerships with leading entertainment brands including Lucasfilm (Star Wars Celebration), UFC (UFC Fan Expo), Twitch (TwitchCon) and Penny Arcade (PAX).

More details on the event can be found at http://www.comiccon.com.cn/

(You’d be better off using: http://www.comiccon.com.cn/en/Home/ )

Interesting…. ReedPOP is using a PR firm for further enquiries…


The full calendar of ReedPOP events!

  • EMERALD CITY COMICON March 27 – 29, 2015

 

2 Comments on ReedPOP Announces New Show in Shanghai, To Be Held in May, last added: 3/14/2015
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21. Book Review: ‘Chinese Animation: A History and Filmography’

A new book seeks to remedy the lack of English scholarship on China's contribution to the medium.

0 Comments on Book Review: ‘Chinese Animation: A History and Filmography’ as of 3/26/2015 1:47:00 PM
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22. Animal Mother, Mother of Animals, Guardian of the Road to the Land of the Dead

We were working in Baga Oigor II when I heard my husband yelling from above, “Esther, get up here, fast!” Thinking he had seen some wild animal on a high ridge, I scrambled up the slope. There, at the back of a protected terrace marked by old stone mounds was a huge boulder covered with hundreds of images. Within that maze of elements I could distinguish a hunting scene and several square patterns suggesting the outlines of dwellings.

The post Animal Mother, Mother of Animals, Guardian of the Road to the Land of the Dead appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. The long history of World War II

World War Two was the most devastating conflict in recorded human history. It was both global in extent and total in character. It has understandably left a long and dark shadow across the decades. Yet it is three generations since hostilities formally ended in 1945 and the conflict is now a lived memory for only a few. And this growing distance in time has allowed historians to think differently about how to describe it, how to explain its course, and what subjects to focus on when considering the wartime experience.

The post The long history of World War II appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. An interview with the translator of Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan

Many of the best books take us into ourselves and outside into the world, facilitating journeys we might not otherwise have taken either in thought or reality. This sense of adventure and possibility is one of the reason’s why I’m so passionate about books in translation and why I was delighted to hear about the bestselling Chinese children’s novel Bronze and Sunflower (青铜葵花) by Cao Wenxuan hitting English-language bookshelves for the first time this year, thanks to its translation by Helen Wang.

Cover art by Meilo So

Cover art by Meilo So

Sunflower and Bronze, two children who are isolated and lonely for different reasons befriend each other. Following the death of Sunflower’s father, Bronze’s family unofficially adopt Sunflower and the story then follows the two children’s friendship, adventures, and experiences living in a very poor but very happy and generous family. Although not without times of grief and real hardship, Bronze and Sunflower’s lives are full of so much loveliness, happiness and kindness that this book, this story came as a welcome breath of fresh air, full of hope and a reminder that warmth and generosity can make for powerful storytelling just as much as angst and dystopia.

Although set in rural China during the Cultural Revolution Bronze and Sunflower has a timeless quality about it; yes, there are references to Cadre schools (a feature of the Cultural Revolution) but nevertheless it felt as if this story could have been set in almost any time period. It has a folktale-like quality in its focus on simple everyday events and challenges. The ingenuity of Bronze, the determination of his entire family to provide the best they can for Sunflower, and the fierce love between adoptive brother and sister are moving and enchanting.

This exploration of aspects of every day simple life reminded me at times of the Laura Ingalls books in the best possible sense and thus I believe Bronze and Sunflower would make a great read aloud from around 6+, as well as being enjoyed by older independent readers. This quiet and gentle story woven through with thoughtfulness and bright love will stay with me for a long time.

Captivated as I was by this Chinese novel, I took the opportunity to interview its translator, Helen Wang, about her work and – more broadly – Chinese children’s literature. First I asked about the process Helen goes through when translating a book, where she starts and what “tricks” or routines she makes use of.

Helen Wang: This is only the second book I’ve translated, so I don’t really have any “tricks” or routines. It takes a few months to translate a novel, and it seems to take between one to two years for a translated book to appear in print. It’s quite a commitment for everyone involved. So I like to take some time at the beginning to read the book and play with it, and work out whether we’ll get along – a bit like browsing in a bookshop or a library. One publisher was very keen for me to translate a particular book, and was so anxious when I turned it down. She wanted to know what was wrong with the book! There was nothing with the book, it was just that I didn’t feel I was the right person to translate it. Actually, the experience reminded me a bit of Daniel Pennac’s book “The Rights of the Reader” (translated by Sarah Ardizzone).

rightsofreaderpost

Playing by the book: Yes, translators have rights too! How interesting that you felt your style or approach didn’t somehow match a given book. That makes me wonder…what were the most challenging aspects of translating Bronze and Sunflower?

Helen Wang: When the editor at Walker Books sent me the Chinese edition of Bronze and Sunflower, I was staying with my mother and sister, and I would read a chapter at a time and then tell them what had happened. At first it seemed as though I was telling them about one brutal disaster or trauma after another, and it was not easy to show how the story would work in English. As the written translation progressed, it was lovely to see the human story coming to the fore.

We often think about language and culture when translating, but the story-telling is just as important. Things like timing, tension, suspense, length, rhythm, humour and dialogue are crucial elements of a story. We learn these when we are very young, and we all know how little children will complain if you don’t tell the story properly. Chinese stories often provide more information, and more repetition, than the English reader is used to. It doesn’t mean that one style is better than another, but rather that we have different expectations and tolerances. For example, when Sherlock Holmes’ stories were first translated into Chinese, they were given spoiler-titles like “The Case of the Sapphire in the Belly of the Goose”. Part of the challenge of translating is working out the storytelling!

Two Chinese language editions of Bronze and Sunflower

Two Chinese language editions of Bronze and Sunflower

Playing by the book: I find it really interesting that you talk about the impact of the disasters when you were first reading Bronze and Sunflower. Whilst there’s definitely hardship and trauma I didn’t find them overwhelming. What shone through was the compassion and thoughtful human relationships. There were whole stretches I wanted to underline! So tell me, what is your favourite passage in Bronze and Sunflower – your favourite bit of narrative?

Helen Wang: I think one of my favourite lines in the whole book has to be in the last chapter, when the authorities come to talk to the head of the village about moving Sunflower back to the city. We’ve followed the family through all the hardships, and like the family and the villagers, we can’t bear the thought of the authorities taking her away. The head of the village, playing for time, sums up the situation so succinctly: “It’s difficult”. It’s perfect!

Playing by the book: Ah yes, that’s a great scene. My personal favourite (without giving too much away) is the one which involves fireflies…. But now perhaps a much harder question: In what way is Bronze and Sunflower typical (or atypical) of 21st century Chinese children’s literature? I read recently that Chinese children’s literature tends to have what Westerners might call a strong Famous Five flavour, and that lots of what gets written would be considered a bit old fashioned for success in Western markets.

Helen Wang: Well I’ve already mentioned the fact that in Chinese stories there can be a different tempo, tension or tolerance of certain linguistic devices such as repetition.

I’ve heard English people say that Chinese children’s books can be overly moral or too didactic. And I’ve heard Chinese people complain that English stories lack firm morals and instruction! But these were adults talking, and it would useful to have some feedback from younger readers too!

A Monster Magic title by Leon Image

A Monster Magic title by Leon Image

One way to get an idea of what’s popular in China now is to look at the list of the 30 bestselling children’s books. The last available list is for February 2015.

By far the most popular children’s author at the moment is Leon Image (a pseudonym), who has ten books in the Top 30, and is one of the richest authors in China. Leon Image is the creator of the phenomenally successful Charlie IX series. Charlie IX is a dog with royal pedigree and superpowers, who, together with his schoolboy owner DoDoMo, goes on amazing fantasy adventures that involve working out clues along the way. The books come together with a magnifier, stickers and puzzles. The latest book is the series is no. 24: Charlie IX, Empty City at the End of the World, and there are currently eight books of this series in the top 30!

Leon Image has also produced the very popular Monster Magic series, and two of these (nos 13 and 14) are in the top 30. I don’t think any of the Leon Image books have been translated into English. However, there are four authors on the list whose work has been translated into English fairly recently.

The first in the Mo's Mischief series by Yang Hongying

The first in the Mo’s Mischief series by Yang Hongying

Yang Hongying is the creator of several very successful series. She started writing children’s books as a young primary school teacher in the 1980s, and after a few years left teaching to concentrate on writing. Her ‘Mo’s Mischief’ series is about a lively little boy, Mo, who keeps getting into trouble (some of these are available in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo’s_Mischief). ‘The Diary of a Smiling Cat’ series follows the adventures of Mo’s cousin’s talking pet cat. ‘Girl’s Diary’ is about a girl in her last year at primary school.

Shen Shixi is China’s “King of Animal Stories” and he has written lots of them! His current bestseller in China is ‘Wolf King Dream’. His book Jackal and Wolf is available in English (translated by me) – it’s about a jackal who raises an orphaned wolf cub and the hair-raising adventures they have hunting, surviving, finding mates, having cubs – with the added complications that wolves and jackals don’t get on, and that they have a mother-daughter relationship.

Wu Meizhen is well-known for her Sunshine Sister series. She also wrote An Unusual Princess, which is available in English, translated by Petula Parris-Huang, and has a few twists in the tail.

jackalprincess

strawhousesCao Wenxuan is Professor of Chinese Literature at Peking University, and writes for both adults and children. He currently has two books in the top 30: Bronze and Sunflower, first published in 2005 and still one of the bestselling children’s books in China; and Straw Houses (tr Sylvia Yu et al). Both of these are available in English now, and I hear a third – Dawang Tome: The Amber Tiles (translated by Nicholas Richards, Better Chinese, California, 2015. ISBN 978-1-60603-707-2) – will be launched at Book Expo America 2015, in May, where China is the guest of honour this year.

There are several commercial titles tied in with TV series, such as the Happy Lamb, Little Pig and Carrot Fantasy series. And there are six well-known translated titles on the list too: Totto-chan, Little Girl at the Window (Tetsuko Kuroyanagi), Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White), Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren), Fantastic Mr Fox (Roald Dahl), The Cricket in Times Square (George Selden) and Guess How Much I Love You? (Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram).

If you want to read more you might enjoy the special issue of IBBY’s journal Bookbird devoted to Chinese children’s books, although it was published nearly 10 years ago in 2006, nearly 10 years ago! It’s time for a new one!

There are also a couple of lists on Good Reads dedicated to Chinese children’s books / themes – Children’s Books about CHINA & Chinese Culture and Chinese Juvenile/Young Adults books.

Some books I might highlight include:

  • White Horses by Yan Ge, translated by Nicky Harman. This is a Young Adult novella. Yan Ge’s a very observant young writer with a wicked sense of humour.
  • Black Flame by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane, translated by Anna Holmwood. This is an animal story about a Tibetan mastiff
  • Pai Hua Zi and the Clever Girl, a graphic novel by Zhang Xinxin which I’ve translated, about Zhang Xinxin’s childhood in Beijing in the 1960s on the eve of the Cultural Revolution.
  • Little White Duck – a Childhood in China by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez. This graphic novel is set in the 1970s.
  • A Chinese Life by Philippe Otie and Li Kunwu. This graphic novel is set in 1940s onwards, under Mao Zedong.
  • chinesebooks

    Playing by the book: It’s interesting to see what’s been translated and sells – both in terms of being translated from and into Chinese. What other Chinese children’s literature would you like to see available for English language audiences?

    Helen Wang:I’d like to see a wider range of titles that show us different aspects of the Chinese experience from a child’s point of view. How about a Chinese version of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”? Something that tells us what it’s like being a child in China today?

    The Ventriloquist's Daughter by Man-chiu Lin

    The Ventriloquist’s Daughter by Man-chiu Lin

    From the list of bestsellers, you can see that there are school stories, animal stories, naughty boy stories, and stories about children having adventures, just like there are here in the UK. I’d like to see some more stories that are about what it’s like to be a young person growing up in China or in the Chinese diaspora. I recently read The Ventriloquist’s Daughter by Man-chiu Lin, which is a wonderful story of a young girl’s struggle to establish her own identity as she grows up – I think this would work very well in English. You can read a sample of this (translated by me) in the new Found in Translation Anthology here on pages 57-71.

    Playing by the book: Thank you so much Helen. My reading list has grown exponentially! I’m very grateful that you’ve shared your knowledge of Chinese children’s literature today, and I especially want to thank you for enabling – with your translation – the story Bronze and Sunflower to to find another fan, another home inside me and no doubt many other English language speakers and readers.

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    25. Interview: Brad Neely & Co. on China, IL – The Worst School in America

    During this year’s C2E2, Comics Beat was #blessed to be able to sit down for a quick roundtable interview with Brad Neely, Daniel Weidenfeld, and Dave Newberg – the driving force behind Adult Swim’s hit show China, IL. What happened next was mostly laughing, carefully edited to read like a real conversation.

    china2

    CB: Okay so China, IL! What can we expect from the rest of the third season?

    Weidenfeld: Well, we have an episode coming up where the mayor bans eating anchovies on pizza in town – you can only eat pepperoni. It sort of becomes our take on the idea of a “gay gene.” We’re showing that now because of everything going on in Indiana. The pizza laws.

    Neely: And at the end of the season we have an hour-long musical, kind of in the style of a Disney musical like Lion King, with thirteen original songs by me. We’ve got Cat Power singing, Rosa Salazar, Evan Peters, so we’re real excited about that. Otherwise we’ve got three or four other episodes in there.

    CB: You’ve got an extensive cast of voice talent this season. How hard was it to round up all these people? There’s Hulk Hogan, Danny Trejo, Christian Slater, etc. Did you have to come to these people, or did they seek you out?

    Neely: Yeah, no one comes to us, haha. We have to go to them. We just aren’t shy about asking, all they can do is say no. There’s an equally long list of people that we have asked that were either busy or thought we were disgusting. We’re very lucky to have these folks.

    Weidenfeld: Yeah, Christian Slater has a monologue, and he just kills it, it’s so funny. He was so great, and such a pro, just amazing to record. We did it over the phone in like 15 minutes – it was perfect. And Danny Trejo was the same. We’re just really lucky to have all these talents that bring their own voices and their own style of comedy to keep it varied.

    Neely: We have Donald Glover this season, which has been great. We like to think that he came over from Community and moved on to regular college. Stayed in school.

    CB: What was it like to get Hulk Hogan onboard as the Dean?

    Weidenfeld: Once we got Hulk Hogan, we re-wrote everything because we knew we now had America’s dad as the Dean. The father of masculinity. So everything changed for the better, for us. He’s very fun.

    Neely: He recorded for an hour, how many 5-Hour Energy’s did he drink?

    Weidenfeld: He brought three and slammed them all. But when you think about how big he is, the ratio kind of works out. He’s something else.

    CB: I know in previous seasons the show is sort of done piece by piece and brought together at the end. Are you approaching the production differently this season?

    Neely: Well, there’s a plan always. But you know, you have to stay on your toes to adapt to whatever is the funniest or working the most. We bring in every actor individually, we don’t record in an ensemble – to facilitate greater dexterity in editing. But we encourage the actors to read the lines in their own words, and improvise after we get what’s on the page.

    Weidenfeld: Brad writes every episode, so we tend to write them a little long, so it’d be really hard to bring everyone into a room and have them all feeding off that energy. It’d be a lot harder to cut as a result. And with Brad doing three of the main voices on the show, we always have the luxury of re-recording. It’s incredible to have that flexibility, especially on an animated show. If we have to cut something, we can salvage lines that are important for story.

    Neely: Yeah, we fix things by changing my characters’ stuff, because we don’t want to have to call somebody back in, especially after they’ve done something that’s great, and we’ll work around that and re-work my lines.

    CB: Are there limits placed upon you by the network? Do you find that you have more or less creative space either way?

    Neely: Strangely – you wouldn’t suspect this of a network with the reputation Adult Swim has – but they insist on us making sense on a emotional and character level. The story has to have an appropriate escalation and resolution. They’re pros about holding us accountable to those standards. They’re very involved when it comes to that.

    Weidenfeld: Sometimes they’ll have a very specific thought of something they wants us to do, and we’ll have a conversation about it. There’s a real back and forth respect. We always try to meet in the middle in some capacity.

    Neely: It’s a healthy working relationship. They don’t hold back when they think something isn’t working, or could be more forceful.

    Weidenfeld: We can say shit now five times per episode. Never a fuck though. They don’t give fucks. Or dicksucker… or cocksucker.

    Neely: But we can have an extended pause in between those two words.

    CB: So do these episodes start with a joke, or does the joke come together after?

    Neely: Every episode starts differently. Some of them just come from a nugget of, “I want to talk about Listerine strips,” or, “Don’t you hate it when you have to order food from a counter?” Sometimes we start with, “Alright, we need to see Frank in this kind of situation.” So we try to keep it balanced where there’s half that come from big stupid ideas and half that come from real deal emotional necessity.

    Weidenfeld: But the main thing that has to happen in any given episode, is there has to be one big visual funny that Brad sees.

    China, IL airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Adult Swim.

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