Children with the Experimental School Affiliated to Capital Normal University in Beijing recite a part of their classical reading text on June 14, 2013.
Established Chinese publishers and children’s book editors have recently recommended for schoolchildren to read classical literature, in particular, the recommend the works of Sweden’s best-known author, Astrid Lindgren.
Swedish author and screenwriter, Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, gained international fame for her children’s books.
During a recent promotional tour for Astrid Lindgren’s books at a primary school in Beijing, Christina Linnarud, Counselor at the Swedish Embassy, said it would be meaningful for Chinese children to develop an understanding of Sweden’s best-known author.
“Astrid Lindgren renewed children’s literature. As an author, publisher and a vocal advocate for human rights, she had a decisive impact on the world of children’s literature and the understanding of the rights of children.”
According to Linnarud, Astrid Lindgren’s works have been translated into more than 90 languages across the world, and the estimated number of books sold worldwide to date is approximately 145 million copies.
Behind the idea of promoting Astrid Lindgren’s works is the China Children’s Press and Publication Group. Li Xueqian, the head of the group, says that it is easy enough for parents to find an attractive-looking book for their child in bookstores; however, it is difficult to select an appropriate and meaningful book for Chinese children.
Li Xueqian recommends Astrid Lindgren’s classic books which feature positive, encouraging characters that may promote the development of children’s minds.
“Over 100,000 types of children’s books are available in the Chinese market every year. In this huge book market, finding good books that nurture the inner world of children and are conducive for their healthy development is an important issue. Doing so would enable children to grow up accompanied positive, young characters with wholesome outlooks.”
Mei Zihan, a senior children’s book editor, suggests teachers use some of the class time to introduce Lindgren’s story books.
“It’s meaningful to have Chinese children read works from the world’s queen of fairy tales, and in a structured manner. It would be nice if every single student had a Lindgren book in their hands to read.”
Li Yuantao, director of Shanghai Children Publishing House, examined the reason why domestic children’s books are less popular than foreign ones.
“Children’s books written by Chinese authors emphasize the spread of knowledge more. Chinese authors usually devote less attention to imaginative and innovative elements, as well as the dynamic thinking. This fact has created a shortage of modern-age classical works in China.”