Chinese Writer Yang Hongying Talks about Children's Books with Readers

April 20, 2016
By Liu WeiEditor: Sherry Song
Yang Hongying. []  

Chinese children's fiction writer Yang Hongying held a meeting for her readers in Beijing Foreign Studies University on April 16. Over 400 readers attended the meeting and shared their reading experiences with her.

As a previous teacher at a primary school and an editor of children's books, Yang has a profound understanding of child psychology and her target audience.

"Miss Yang's books are interesting and easy to read. We all wait in line to borrow her books from the library after class. I think we are like the characters in her book- I can even relate specific characters to my classmates," a student announced at the meeting.

Yang explained how she came up with her characters, saying "the idea for Ma Xiaotiao (a famous character in her book) came from one of my students. He was just like any other kid in China with pressure to study and growing pains, but he was also kind, brave, and full of imagination. I wanted the character to be a 'real kid,' not a hero. I want to present what the world of children is like through the portrayal of Ma Xiaotiao."

While Cao Wenxuan, the Chinese children's fiction writer who won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2016, uses high-level vocabulary and literary prose, Yang prefers to keep her writing colloquial. Some critics have even suggested that such writing cannot be called literature, but Yang supports her artistic decision.

"Children literature is different from that of adults because kidsare just learning to read. I use oral words and short sentences in my books to cater to children's thinking. I hope children can enjoy my novels without obstacles and gain confidence in their reading ability," she maintained.

Yang's novels rank at forefront of China's best-selling children's books.

Zheng Zhong, president of Zhejiang Literature and Art Publishing said, "The writer of children's fiction should have an awareness of childhood, as Yang does. Her background in child psychology shines through in her books."

"The responsibility of a children's writer is to write in a way that is interesting and easy to read for them. That way, they can fall in love with reading," said Yang.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)

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