Malaysian Public Library to host 'Chinese Children's Picture Book' exhibition

Two award-winning pictures books from China, which will be among the 164 books on display at the 'Chinese Children's Picture Book' exhibition at the Malaysian Public Library in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 18 and 19. Photo: Handout

The Malaysian Public Library (MPL) in Kuala Lumpur is presenting the Chinese Children's Picture Book exhibition on Nov 18 and 19, which gives local readers a glimpse of the rapidly developing children’s book publishing sector in China.

The free admission exhibition, which is open from 10am-4pm this weekend, will feature 164 lively and imaginative picture books from 24 publishers in China for readers aged four to 12 years.

“This exhibition is an initiative of the Confucius Institute at SEGi University to open a cultural dialogue between Malaysia and China through the medium of children's books," says Dr Yoon Sook Jhee, the director of the Confucius Institute at SEGi University, which promotes Chinese culture, language and literature in Malaysia.

The Chinese Children's Picture Book exhibition will also feature storytelling sessions, calligraphy classes, documentary screenings, traditional games and other book-related activities.

"An increasing number of Chinese children's books have also made their way into the global market, as more countries and regions are eager to learn about Chinese culture and listen to Chinese stories. The high quality of the books – featuring plots from a Chinese perspective coupled with ingenious character designs – is attracting a growing number of global readers and enabling them to win international awards," reads a media statement.

One of the publishers represented, the People’s Education Press (PEP), has the largest circulation and greatest influence for primary and secondary school students in China. PEP has a total of 62 picture books on display in this exhibition.

Other featured publishers are Children’s Publishing House, Tomorrow Publishing House, 21st Century Publishing House, Dolphin Publishing House and Xinjiang Youth Publishing House – all famous children’s book publishers in China whose outstanding picture books are also on display.

"Although MPL has a section devoted to young readers, picture books from China are hard to come by. So this exhibition provides the inspiration and motivation to direct our attention to this sector. It also serves to alert parents, teachers and educators to the high quality of picture books from China," says Wong Tuck Cheong, MPL library manager.

Among the leading writers, artists and illustrators of children’s books represented are Yang Yongqing, Xiong Liang, Cai Gao, Cao Wenxuan, Zhou Xiang and Qi Deli, all of whom are familiar to Chinese teenagers and children.

The award-winning books selected for this exhibition include: Daisy Doll by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by Zhao Lei – winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award; Ding Bean Is Going Home, written and illustrated by Huang Lili; The Dark Blue One written and illustrated by Wei Jie and The Deep Bird Is My Daddy written by He Yunzhi – winners of the Xinyi Picture Book Award; Dancing Cranes written by Bao Dongni and illustrated by Xia Jinghan – winner of the National Outstanding Children's Book Award (in China).

The MPL reopened at its new home at Wisma HELP, Jalan Dungun, Bukit Damansara in Kuala Lumpur last March.

Previously known as the Malaysian Public Library Association, the MPL has more than 66 years of local history, serving local Chinese-speaking communities in Malaysia.

More info here.

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