Children’s books win the hearts of young readers and their parents | Company
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Several recent surveys on the reading habits of children showed that children’s books by Vietnamese authors were preferred by both young readers and their parents, compared to foreign books.
A collection of poems, Dat Me Di Choi (Taking Mother Out) by Mai Quyen is a current bestseller. The five-volume collection is also the only publication of poems competing in the finals of the Men’s Awards 2022 – a prize dedicated to literary works, art, films and music for children.
“For me and my child, this collection of poetry is like a Vietnamese language lesson. I read these poems to my child every day. Composed in a witty and pure style, the poem has a structure like a story told through verse,” said journalist Thu Nguyen.
One parent said: “The post has a lovely design, with each poem accompanied by an illustration for children to color. The poems mean so much to my children who often follow too: ‘this is me, this is mum, this is grandma’s house…'”
According to another parent, Tran Ha Van, Mai Quyen’s poems carry a deep meaning akin to La Fontaine’s fables.
“I like to read poems for my children. However, excluding those of Tran Dang Khoa and Xuan Quynh [two famous poets and writers of Vietnamese literature from the 20th century], there were no outstanding poems for children until Mai Quyen, which is moving and easy to read. I guess it’s because she’s a doctor of literature that her language is very beautiful,” he said.
The Dat Me Di Choi collection comes from the poems that Quyen composed for his son. After his verses were acclaimed and shared by many people, Quyen had the idea to publish the collection to extend the story to strengthen the bond between the mother and the child of the readers.
Her decision to publish the poems also inspired many other parents to start writing a “poetry journal” for their children.
In a lecture on “How to select a book for your child”, Nguyen Dinh Tuan, founder of the Little Prince group which promotes reading, said: “Vietnamese children’s books have recently made significant progress, attracting many authors to participate. These publications have also quickly conquered the market. Not only limited to the literature category, in other categories such as science, history and comics, there are also very good Vietnamese children’s books whose quality is no less than that of imported and translated books.
Tuan took the example of the Vietnamese-English bilingual Sci-Tales collection from the Women’s Publishing House. The six-volume collection, by author Hoang Anh Duc with painters Hong An and Loc Linh, is a recent bestseller.
Meanwhile, two historical-themed books, Lich Su Viet Nam Bang Tranh (Vietnamese History Through Painting) and Hien Tai Nuoc Viet (Vietnamese Talents) are the long sellers.
The blossoming of Vietnamese children’s books on the market in recent years has brought an important source of reading for young readers. Furthermore, it also encourages authors and publishers to “invest” more in their products. They not only diversified book genres, but also paid attention to book designs. In addition, publishers have also published tailored publications targeting children of different ages and genders.
Some authors and publishers, having conquered national readers, have found a way to publish abroad.
Last year, the copyright of the art book Chang Hoang Da – Gau (Wild Chang – Bear) by wildlife defender Trang Nguyen and illustrator Jeet Zdung was sold to the British publishing house Pan Macmillan. Publishing house Kim Dong said the book sold for a record price, without disclosing the number.
The book, which won an award at the 2021 Vietnam National Book Awards, has also been franchised in five other countries, including the United States, the Republic of Korea, China, Norway and Turkey.
Previously, the bilingual cartoon series Nhung Chuyen Phieu Luu Cua Meo Tita (The Adventures of Tita the Cat) by Bup Be (published by Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House) has also been released worldwide by the Olympia publishing house in the United Kingdom. The international version includes the original English text and illustrations from all five volumes in the series.
In 2020, the copyright of the long story Toi La Beto (I’m Beto) by Nguyen Nhat Anh was purchased by a South Korean publisher. His book Cho Toi Xin Mot Ve Di Tuoi Tho (Give me a ticket to childhood) has been translated into Thai and published by Thailand’s Nanmeebooks publishing house. The book has also been published in the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States.
Phan Thanh Lan, copyright manager at Kim Dong publishing house, said: “From our experience in exporting books, we can see that in targeting Vietnamese people living abroad, foreign publishing houses often choose folklore, tradition and cultural subjects. For publishers who target a wider audience or native readers, they often select books dealing with global topics such as climate change, environmental protection, nature conservation, gender equality and environmental protection. against child abuse and exploitation.