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Childrens Books in


A confluence of factors is driving a rapidly evolving

and fast-growing marketplace
Childrens Books in China

An Overview of the Childrens

Book Market in China
We talk with Chinese publishers about the growing industry
By Teri Tan

Though describing the massive Chinese childrens book the importance of preschool education
has seen young parents getting more
market is as easy as A, B, C (amazing, booming, crowded), actively involved in the education of
explaining the forces behind its growth may take more their toddlers. Authors, editors, pre-
school teachers, and kindergartens are
than 1, 2, 3but that is still a very good way to start.

coming together to educate parents on
how best to motivate their toddlers to
ne: Chinas rapidly expand- learn and think and to recommend the
ing middle class. The latest appropriate educational tools and mate-
McKinsey survey estimates rials. Cultivating a childs love of reading
that a total of 550 million from an early age is widely seen as a
peopleor 76% of the major step toward reducing that childs
countrys urban popula- future use of electronics and social media
tionwill be middle class by 2020. In consumption (and risk of addiction).
comparison, in 2000 there were barely Activity kits and novelty titlesreplete
five million middle class people in China. with pop-ups, touch and feels, pull tabs,
The present Chinese middle class is also lift flaps, sound modules, interactive
younger, better educated, more globally add-ons, oh my!for toddlers are get-
minded, and, most importantly, has ting a big boost from this preschool-
more discretionary income than the education focus.
Chinese middle class at the turn of the Four: social media marketing. In
century. That means younger middle- China, where there are 913 million
class parents, better informed about their smartphone subscribersmore than the
childrens educational needs, with more U.S., Brazil, and Indonesia combined
money to spendand they are spending mobile communication is king, social
it on learning materials and books. media rules, and super apps such as
Two: Chinas latest education reform, changes have ramped up the growth of WeChat and Weibo are changing pur-
which will take effect in 2020. The pres- certain childrens publishing segments chasing habits and book-distribution
sure is on for increased reading, learning, such as picture books, fiction for primary models. Childrens book publishers have
and teaching materials in schools to meet schoolers, and heavily illustrated gen- been quick to leverage social media and
cover illustration from istock shuga warrior

the Chinese governments reform objec- eral-knowledge series (all of which make online communities to influence, pro-
tives, which are to reduce homework and many publishers very happy). mote, and sell their titles, and this new
standardized examinations and move Three: a new preschool-education channel has proven to be a boon for pub-
toward an employment-oriented educa- focus. Across China and specifically in lishers bottom lines. Engagement with
tion system. There is now an impetus urban areas, a heightened awareness of online chat groups, parenting portals,
driving Chinese parents, teachers, and
policy makers to get children to read Visit to read this special
more and to read for pleasure as opposed report online
to reading in order to pass exams. These
W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 3
Childrens Books in China

and fan clubs is now seen as an effective With the two-child policy imple- The Straw House and Bronze and Sunflower),
way of building loyalty, branding titles mented in 2015 predicted to add at least Yang Hongying (the series Mos Mischief
and authors, and reaching previously three million babies annually to Chinas and the Diary of the Smiling Cat), and
inaccessible pockets of the market, espe- population over the next five years, Shen Shixi (animal-themed novels).
cially those consumers not living within jumping onto the childrens book band- In 2000, Harry Potter rode his Nimbus
the vicinity of bricks-and-mortar book- wagon is a no-brainer for publishing broom into China, and his magic spell
stores. (For more on social media market- companies. Though there were barely 20 threw open the doors to the Chinese book
ing in China, see p. 30.) dedicated childrens book publishers in market for translations, direct imports,
the country back in 2003, now more than and licensed characters from the West.
Growing the Market 580 publishing companies are plying the Educational and reference series were
The above factors combined have created market. In the past three years, an aver- made for a market long known for its
a booming book market for the esti- age of 45,000 childrens titles have been focus on academic achievement. Single-
mated 370 million children under the added to Chinas book market annually. volume picture books on the other hand
age of 18 in China. According to the lat- Industry players hail the 20022011 had only limited success, with much of
est report from Beijing-based OpenBook, period as the golden decade of childrens the rights-buying and translation efforts
a clearinghouse for publishing statistics books in China. This golden decade lavished on titles boasting award-win-
in China, in 2016, sales of childrens was as much about the segments growth ning authors and illustrators.
books accounted for 23.5% of Chinas as it was about the emergence of out- But recent years have seen new seg-
total retail book market, which stands at standing and bestselling local authors ments entering the market, including
CNY 70.1 billion ($10.2 billion). such as Cao Wenxuan (the picture books higher-priced novelty titles such as aug-

Juvenile & Children Reading Experience

Located in Beijings central business district, the
two-story Juvenile & Children Reading Experience
Wonderland is a full-fledged subsidiary of China
Childrens Press & Publication Group (for more on
CCPPG, see p. 16). Right from the outset, Wonderland
has embarked on a divergent path by focusing on
experiential reading services instead of just selling
During PWs recent visit to the store, nearly 100
students from a rural primary school in Beijings
Fangshan district were on the premises. One group
congregated in the theater area discussing the
skits they were about to perform with their teacher
and a Wonderland guide, while another group, on
low communal tables in another corner, were exper-
imenting with their science activity kits. Another
Children listening to stories and having fun at the Reading Wonderland.
group of younger students enjoyed their boxed
lunches amid boisterous conversations and conceived in 2007, is to make reading fun by supplementing
laughter. it with activities and games, and then to go deeper to under-
Throughout its 5,000-sq.-m. space, Wonderland is stand the reading and learning needs of schoolchildren and
designed with children in mind, utilizing bright color schemes their schools, Li says. But we have to figure out the busi-
and kid-friendly fittings and fixtures. A comfortable and safe ness model and the practicalities: how to make moneyand
space is conducive to reading and learning, and that is what if we even can make moneyand where to go from there.
we aim for, explains Li Xueqian, president of CCPPG, adding The answer to the first part of his question is becoming
that the whole construction took three years. evident: in the second half of 2015, more than 30,000 primary
The idea behind the development of Wonderland, schoolers from 130 schools visited the store. Last year, just

4 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

mented-reality (AR) series and pop-up read for pleasure). children we can sell to, or the sales poten-
board books. The same goes for activity By all measures, the Chinese childrens tial now that the two-child policy is in
kits for children below the age of six and book market is very young. The history place, but how to promote and instill
big-format picture books. Science of picture books in China is less than 12 lifetime reading habits in the young. If
titlesseries, picture books, and maga- years old, making it a baby compared to it does not instill children with lifetime
zinesare getting a lot of demand as the American and European markets. reading habits, he adds, the childrens
well, with parents and teachers wanting The potential for growth is immense book market will not grow and prosper.
to see children developing their scientific with industry players looking forward to We also have to ask another ques-
reasoning at a very early age. another two or even three golden tion, Ao says. Who are we really pub-
However parents, teachers, and chil- decadesbut there are challenges. (But lishing for: the parents, teachers, or
dren in rural and urban areas are seeking then again, what market is without children? In most cases, the children
out different types of books, ranging problems?) read based on recommended lists from
from the most basic educational materi- schools, and parents buy based on best-
als to sophisticated picture books for lei- Looking Beyond the seller lists or peer reviews. The chil-
sure reading and everything in between. Numbers dren have little to no say in the reading
There is now demand for every genre in The biggest and most important ques- or purchasing decision. So there is very
childrens books, including YA fiction tion the Chinese childrens book industry little to indicate the real reading inter-
(which had previously been marketed as faces at present, according to Ao Ran, est beyond what sells, which does not
adult reading) and middle grade series general manager of Childrens Fun exactly offer an accurate read on the
(because more children are starting to Publishing Company, is not how many actual audience. Im sure this is a prob-

Wonderland: A New Business Model

schoolchildren tools to express themselves and be creative
and imaginative. Each set is designed for 45 students and is
priced at CNY 30,000 ($4,366). More than 150 sets were
sold last year.
The second question about Wonderlands futurewhere to
go from herewill require more time to answer. A deep-rooted
traditional-publishing mindset revolving around book sales
and new titles is the biggest barrier, Li says. Wonderland is
essentially a reading-service platform for children, the antith-
esis of a bookstore. In addition to onsite reading programs
and activities, our services include collaborations with schools
to build the appropriate reading environment. Since reading
classes are new in many schools, the majority of the teachers
A Drama in Education kit created by CCPPG for the Wonderland. are not sure how to implement them effectively, or how to
improve a students reading ability or interest. Or even how to
between March and June, 15,000 students visited the store. build the schools reading resources. That is where our school
The fee for these visits, charged depending on the program reading services come into play.
selected, is CNY 80100 ($11.60$14.50) per student. Through these services, Wonderland advises schools to stock
We broke even last year with services rendered to just 43 their libraries with at least 2,000 titles, of which 200 should
schools from two districts, Daxing and Fangshan, Li says. form the core reading list. We build reading programs based on
This year, more have already committed to the Wonderland these core titles, train teachers, provide appropriate teaching
programs. He points out that 60% of the stores income is and learning kits, track the progress, conduct annual evalua-
derived from these fees, the rest from book salesfrom tion, and make the necessary tweaks, adds Li, who firmly
titles coming from various publishers, not just CCPPG. believes that the future of the publishing industry is going to
Li and his team have also developed special kits for use at be driven by such services. Hence, he wants Wonderland
Wonderland. The Drama in Education kit, for instance, gives and therefore CCPPGto have the first-mover advantage.

W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 5
Childrens Books in China

lem facing other childrens publishers, According to Wang Zhong, presi- However, pushing more titles into the
not just in China but worldwide. For dent of Zhejiang Juvenile & Childrens market is unsustainable in the longer
Ao and his team, the solution is to pub- Publishing House, the current rights term. Ten years ago, Li recalls, the chil-
lish a wide variety of appealing, char- selling process needs tweaking. Many drens segment was very small, account-
acter-based content to capture chil- overseas publishers, due to their unfa- ing for less than 9% of the overall book
drens reading interest, and then to miliarity with the domestic Chinese market. Last year, there were nearly
develop childrens trust in his compa- market and players, tend to rely exclu- 61,000 childrens titles in the market,
nys brand by continuously delivering sively on literary agencies to handle even as prices of childrens books have
fun and quality titles. their titles. And the usual criterion, of gone up, print runs have decreased, and
Another issue is the trend of market course, is to go for the highest bid, and inventory levels have grown. These are
participants purchasing (and produc- not [factor in] the publishers capabili- strong indicators that the market does
ing) titles merely to ride the bestseller ties or expertise. That is perhaps a big not require that many titles, nor is able
wave. It can be disheartening, says mistake. A titles potential success to sustain such massive publishing
Sally Yan, founder and editor-in-chief depends on many factorsincluding output.
of Beijing Dandelion, whose bestsell- translation quality, continuous promo- So what should publishers do? The
ing translation of Aleksandra and tion, and marketing activitiesthat path forward is to be more selective and
Daniel Mizielinskis Maps spawned rest on the publishers shoulder. And in discerning in providing children with
imitations, especially from much China, the strength and reach of the quality reading materials, Li says. We
smaller presses. promotional and marketing cam- should not simply continue pushing out
While I do understand that every- paigns, or lack thereof, can make or more titles or blindly translating a huge
body wants to make money in this com- break a title. quantity of books to meet short-term
petitive industry, such copycatting But with more overseas players enter- goals. Otherwise, as an industry, we will
action disrespects the original authors ing, and having success in, the Chinese only have production capacity and not
and degrades the value of their work, childrens book market, Wang hopes to publishing capability, which is crucial
Yan says. Such activity, while profitable, see more direct collaborations and rights for developing and cumulating our own
is shortsighted. In the longer term, the negotiations. Exchanges of ideas and IPs. So, improving the quality of our
survival and development of a publishing information will generate more good- original contentwhich is aimed at
house depends on originality and creativ- will, moving a purely quantitative rela- meeting the needs of our children and
ity, not imitation. tionshipbased on sales and royalties educational systemis the big goal.
A diverse range of topics, including into a qualitative approach that places And motivating children to cultivate a
such subjects as war and hardship, is more value on enriching the collabora- lifelong reading habit must be front and
good for children, according to Yan, tion and its potential outcomes. center.
inspiring them to learn and understand All 10 publishers profiled in this
what is happening around the world. Developing Reading special reportincluding Liwill be
The younger generation today have lit- exhibiting and showcasing their best
tle worries about their day-to-day sur- Habits and Quality titles at the China Pavilion at the
vival, unlike children in some parts of Content Bologna Book Fair next month. Their
Africa who have to walk for miles to find Chinas upcoming education reform offers presence is a preview of what is coming
water and risk being killed by wildlife not just a reset for its current educational in 2018, when China is the fairs Guest
along the way, or who live in war zones, system but also for the childrens publish- of Honor. So make sure you pay them
she says. ing industry. There will be increased a visit!
Yan has published a few titles dealing emphasis on students language capabili-
with such difficult subjects, including
Michael Morpurgos The Kites Are Flying
ties, reading comprehension, information
analysis, and logical thinkingand these
and Linda Sue Parks A Long Walk to will change the way school and education
Water. The goal is to provide children are being conducted, with much greater PW would like to thank Beijing-
with a global outlookincluding the demand for reading, explains Li Xueqian, based Bookdao for its help in
badand refrain from just producing president of China Childrens Press & making this report possible. All
feel-good stories, which most of us are Publication Group (as well as president of articles in this supplement were
guilty of doing, Yan explains. And to the Chinese section of the International written by PW correspondent
do this, one needs to look at buying Board of Books for Young People). That Teri Tan.
rights from different countriesnot just means the publishing industry has to gear
the big marketsand to look beyond the up to meet the demand for relevant reading
sales figures. materials and reading-oriented services.
6 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Dandelion Childrens Book House

Beijing Dandelion Childrens Book House Co., Ltd. is a childrens publisher specializing in fiction, science and picture books for children below 12
years. Established in 2007, we are a team of more than 20 people publishing over 100 books per year. Each year, we introduce many titles overseas and
cooperate with many publishers all over the world. The bestsellers we have published include The Magic School Bus series, Richard Scarrys Golden
Books, Maurice Sendaks works, De liefste papa series, The Classic Chinese Picture Books series, The International Award-Winning Literature series,
and the famous Polish titles Mapy and POD ZIEMIA POD WODA .

There is always a good reason for eating steamed

stuffed buns
Yuan Xiaofeng Chairman of the Education Development Committee of the Shenzhen Public
Foundation for the Love of Reading; one of the ten most influential public figures in the reading
world for 2012; Yuan Xiaofeng has also published a series of books related to education and reading
in recent years, such as, The ABC of parent-child book reading, Miss Yuans reading class,
The first steps of parent child book reading", "Picture book reading - enabling children to grow up
happily, Happy reading a voice from a primary school, Making and implementing plans for
life, The exploration of a quality curriculum etc.
Gu Qiangling Born in 1988 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. He graduated from the China Central This is a heart-warming story
Academy of Fine Arts in 2011, with Picture Book Creation as his major. Since 2012 he has been about food, which triggers a lifetime
of emotional memories for all
studying at the Paris CESAN comic illustration school. He is passionate about painting and picture
Chinese people. There is a little boy
book creation and is an advocate of freedom and variety of expression. He is also a man who loves
named Maomao. He likes eating
nature, likes observing animals and plants, and has a keen interest in history and mythology.
steamed stuffed buns very, very
much. I know you like eating them

This book contains 12 fairytales based on Buddha's

teachings. Through splendid prose, the author creates a grand
scene and reveals the mystery of a child's growth. These
stories are not just suitable for parents but also for adults to
share with their children.

Stories from Moms Heart

Canran A mother to a 6-year-old boy and a famous childrens writer.
She has established a kindergarten and a parent-child reading promotions studio.
Ma Penghao Picture book author and illustrator.
He graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts,
and now resides in Beijing. His book, A Pear Fell Into Water,
won the 2014 Hsin-Yi Picture Book Award.

Please contact:
Jing Bo (Foreign Rights Manager)
WeChat ID: pugongyingkids
Childrens Books in China

21st Century
Publishing Group

oted Best Childrens Publisher promoted as adult readings, Zhang Zhang Qiulin, president of 21st Century
in Asia at the 2015 Bologna notes. But for teenagers and youth strug- Publishing Group
Childrens Book Fair, 21st gling with complex issues in their growth
Century Publishing Group has and development in modern China today, titles, Zhang notes. This arrangement
come a long way in its 32 years. we really need more local-centric YA works very well in the intensely competi-
We started with 10 editors offerings. tive rights market in China, since we have
and CNY 100,000 [$14,560] in seed Another emerging segment that Zhang first refusal on any Macmillan title on
money, and we were determined to build has waited out patiently over the years is offer. This month, buoyed by successes
a catalogue of great titles for children, the higher-priced novelty market. We from Macmillan Centurys YA series,
recalls Zhang Qiulin, who has been the started publishing such titles in 2000, Zhang established the 21st Century YA
company president for the past 30 years. with series such as Animals: Touch and Literature Award to cultivate more origi-
We remain as determinedand Feel, he says. And it took us nearly 10 nal works in the segment.
patienttoday as we were then to con- years to convince parents and teachers that 21st Century also has stepped up its
tinue cultivating new works and bringing such titles workand are very valuable rights selling business. Picture book
overseas bestsellers into China. for their childrens development. Now, of Express Delivery from Dinosaur World by
Patience is something Zhang has in course, the competition has heated up Dong Yanan is now available in a bilin-
abundance. Take YA series My Son Pika: with the entry of many translated or gual edition from Candied Plums in the
It took author Cao Wenxuan, the first copublished novelty products. U.S., and Half Door by Peng Xuejun and
Chinese to receive the Hans Christian Chinese children and parents know A Pandas Story by Tang Yaming, illus-
Andersen Award, more than 10 years to about 21st Century Publishing Group trated by Susumu Kinoshita, have been
develop and deliver the manuscript to the through its big brands, including A sold to countries including France and
editorial team. Good things are worth Different Carmela (or Les Ptites Poules), Japan. Rights to Cao Wenxuans picture
waiting for, and this series is definitely one Geronimo Stilton (7.6 million copies sold), books Smoke and The Summer have gone to
of them, says Zhang, who commends the My First Comic Book on Science (from publishers in France, New Zealand, South
author for relating and addressingin South Korea), and manga characters such Korea, and Sweden.
total honestya 10-year-old boys physi- as Doraemon and Pokmon. For Zhang, increased rights sales aside,
cal, psychological, and spiritual growth Carmela kicked off in 2006 with six closer and direct collaboration with major
and relationship with his father. titles, and one new volume added per book markets is crucial. A German office
My Son Pika, now a 10-volume series, year, Zhang says. To date, we have sold has been established to better understand
has sold more than two million copies upwards of 50 million copies. With the the European book industry and to ensure
since its 2009 launch. The YA segment animated movie coming soon to China, 21st Century Publishing Groups access to
was nonexistent the book sales will certainly go up signifi- the best publishers, authors, and titles
in China two cantly. 21st Century also has translated from the region.
years ago, with Natalie Babbits Tuck Everlasting and Going forward, Zhangs mission is to
i m p o r t e d YA recently bought Catherine Rayners Smelly create a balanced publishing program.
titles typically Louie, Philip C. Steads Lenny & Lucy, and Ideally, I would like to see bestsellers and
Michael Endes The Night of Wishes. long-running sellers account for 50% of
Express Delivery Macmillan titles dominate the compa- our sales, and that 50% of our titles are
from Dinosaur nys catalogue, owing to the Macmillan originals, Zhang says. At the same time,
World is available
in a bilingual edi- Century joint venture launched in 2012. a 50-50 split between classical titles and
tion from Candied Since then, over 400 titles have been contemporary works would be great. Im
Plums in the U.S. published, and we have access to the best patiently working on that.

8 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
2016 Hans Christian Andersen
Award Winner - Cao Wenxuan
Cao Wenxuan, a professor at Peking University, is the first Chinese
author to win the Hans Christian Andersen Award. With more than
50 works in his name, he is one of the most influential childrens
book authors in China today. Rights to his books have been sold to
countries such as Brazil, France, Japan, Korea, and Sweden.


Illustrator: Yu Rong Illustrator: Yu Rong Illustrator: Wan Wan
A story of understanding and A thought-provoking story with illustrations A peaceful story of love and friendship
forgiveness in a poetic language that are inspired by paper-cutting art

Illustrator Yu Rong won a Special Prize for This book was selected for inclusion in While traveling south for the winter, a bird
this book, which is dedicated to peace and the 2016 White Raven catalogue by the is attracted by an iceberg and landed
understanding, at the 22nd International International Youth Library, and in the 2015 on it. But when it wants to continue with
Book Fair in Novi Sad. This book also Top 10 Original Picture Books in China list. its journey, it finds its feet stuck to the
won the 2015 Chen Bochui International iceberg. What will happen to the bird and
Children s Literature Award for picture iceberg
book category.
Rights sold: Korea, Sweden, France, Rights sold: France, New Zealand, Korea,
New Zealand Sweden

Cao writes beautifully about the complex lives of children facing great challenges.
Silly Donkey series His books dont lie about the human condition; they acknowledge that life can
(10 volumes) often be tragic and that children can suffer.
Illustrator: Wang Zumin International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)
Collection of Excerpts from
Cao Wenxuans Fictions (20 volumes) My Son Pika (10 volumes)
A perfect set for readers new to Cao A fathers record of his sons growth
Wenxuans works

A series about an innocent donkey

in a complex world
This series contains excerpts from all of
Cao Wenxuan s fiction titles in the past 30
years, including classics such as Bronze and
Sunflower , and The Straw House , as well as
the more recent ones such as Osmanthus
Rain and A Pigeon Called Feng.
Childrens Books in China

Anhui Childrens
Publishing House

ith three offices in China and one in Lebanon, ing series include Peppa Pig (15
Anhui Childrens Publishing House adds about million copies sold), Mos
800 new titles annually to its 15,000-title cata- Mischief: Comics Edition (7.3
logue. Known for introducing licensed characters million), and Yang Hongyings Zhang Kewen, president of
including Peppa Pig, Angry Birds, and Fairy Tales (1.5 million). The Anhui Childrens Publishing
Transformers to Chinese children, the publisher is known for current crop of authors and illus-
producing original works in childrens literature, popular sci- trators is insufficient to support the needs of our domestic mar-
ence, and animation and comics, as well as preschool titles. In ket of 370 million children, and we need more to balance out
fact, 70% of ACPH publications are originals, and more than the imports, Zhang says. For ACPH, it has become our mis-
1,000 titles have been sold to different countries, including sion to uncover new talents, develop their works, and popularize
Belgium, France, Poland, and the U.S. them.
ACPH excelsand differentiates itself from industry coun- To ensure that new and existing talents have the support they
terpartsin comics. The companys 20-volume TV tie-in need, Zhang has built an online ecosystem that includes writers
Homer & Landau: Legend of Seven Knights has sold 16 million groups, fan clubs, and reading promotion centers as well as an
copies since its 2006 launch, and the Big-Head Son and Little- online store.
Head Father series has exceeded 24 million copies sold since Last November 11, Singles Day in China (the equivalent of
2014. Another specialty is creating novelty titles for babies; Black Friday), ACPH sold 30 million copies of books through
ACPHs classic fairy tales series on EVA foam and plastic bath its online store, making it the #1 seller among similar stores
books has been sold to Lebanon, Syria, and the U.A.E. operated by other childrens publishing houses. Developing,
The effort to cultivate new and younger writersnot just promoting, and protecting authors and their works is the prom-
for the local market, but for the worldneeds to be intensified, ise of Anhui Childrens Publishing House, and that has remained
says Zhang Kewen, president of ACPH, whose recent bestsell- unchanged in the past 33 years, adds Zhang.

A Brief Look at Some of Chinas Biggest Childrens Publishers

In China, there are about 585 publishing companiesstate-owned as Publishing Group, for instance, is known as the publisher of Frances
well as independentinvolved in the childrens book publishing segment. Les Ptites Poules and Italys Geronimo Stilton, while Zhejiang Juvenile &
Of these, about 30 companies specialize in childrens publishing. A quick Childrens Publishing House is famed for its long-running originals
survey conducted by Beijing-based Bookdao for this PW report has identi- Charlie IX & Dodomo and titles from Shen Shixi, the king of animal sto-
fied 10 of the largest childrens book publishers in China, based on their ries in China.
consolidated revenues. Here is the list in alphabetical order: Jieli Publishing House, on the other hand, translated another winning
21st Century Publishing Group seriesBear Gryllss Mission Survivalto add to its catalogue, which is
Anhui Childrens Publishing House best known for series such as Goosebumps, I Spy, and Twilight. And
Changjiang Childrens Publishing Group Childrens Fun Publishing Company, launching the countrys first-ever
China Childrens Press & Publication Group Chinese leveled readers program, has further solidified its reputation as
Childrens Fun Publishing Company an innovative leader in the marketplace.
Jieli Publishing House As for Changjiang Childrens Publishing Group, its 2015 acquisition of
Hunan Juvenile & Childrens Publishing House Dolphin Media has significantly boosted its total revenues, and firmly
Phoenix Juvenile & Childrens Publishing cemented its standing among the major players.
Xinjiang Juvenile Publishing House And with the Chinese childrens book segment continuing to heat up,
Zhejiang Juvenile & Childrens Publishing Group expect more mergers and acquisitions as well as more joint ventures.
Some earlier successful joint ventures include 21st Century with
Among these publishers, only Zhejiang Juvenile & Childrens Publishing Macmillan, Posts & Telecommunication Press with Egmont (resulting in
House can be considered as a pure-play childrens publisher, with a cata- Childrens Fun Publishing), and Phoenix Juvenile with Hachette.
logue focused entirely on picture books and illustrated series. The others
are involved, in varying degrees, in the educational and supplementary
Editors note: This survey invited 20 specialized childrens publishers to disclose their
materials segment, with more than a few also owning childrens maga- 2016 sales revenues. This list of 10 major publishers is based on the participants
zines and newspapers. consolidated sales revenues, which include general publishing, textbooks and sup-
For these major companies, a strong book list combining long-running plementary materials publishing, magazines, and digital publishing. Figures provided
originals and bestselling translations has worked wonders. 21st Century to Bookdao for the purpose of this ranking will remain confidential.

10 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Beijing Dandelion
Childrens Book

eijing Dandelion Childrens (five million copies sold since 2007) and Sally Yan, editor-in-chief at Beijing
Book House grew from three Ursula Moray Williams. Gobbolino the Dandelion
full-time staff (counting Witchs Cat and The Adventures of the Little
founder and editor-in-chief Wooden Horse by Ursula Moray Williams nine editors have also made an impact in
Sally Yan) in 2007 to eight are neither Newbery nor Greenaway win- the market. There Is Always a Reason to Eat
within a year. It now has sales ners, but I insisted on buying the rights, Buns, for instance, conveys family values
exceeding CNY 80 million ($11.6 mil- and went on to sell 20,000 copies within through the interactions and exchanges
lion) and a catalogue of 600 titles, of four years, Yan says. That drove the origi- between three generations of a family
which 70% are translations. nal U.K. publisher to reissue the titles to around buns; 7,000 copies were sold in the
At the core of Beijing Dandelions suc- fulfill demand from British parents who first two months. Hong Yings The Girl
cessful publishing program is Yans nose couldnt find copies in bookstores or librar- from the French Fort, on the other hand, digs
for a good story. I dont read English, so ies. So these titles have come full circle, deep into Chinas cultural history to find
I look at the drawings, she says. If I find which is really great as we should treasure interesting nuggets in the nations history.
them fun and interesting, then to me that such great classics. Yan recently purchased These titles, while Chinese at the core,
is a good book. It has to appeal to my inner Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassens The are very unique, Yan says, adding that her
child, or it is not going to work for another Nest and Lorena Siminovichs You Are My publishing goal is always about offering
child. That is the way I choose a title, and Baby series. children books that promote tolerance and
Im sticking to that practice. It is a prac- Inspired by Random House, which Yan inclusivity.
tice that has served Yan well: she struck admires for its tradition of finding quality Distribution-wise, as a comparatively
gold with The Magic School Bus, Chinas #1 and evergreen content, she spent seven small publisher, Beijing Dandelion has
childrens title ever since its 2010 launch. years collecting and preserving some of far less bargaining power and gets far
In an average year, online retailer the best childrens comics made in China less shelf space than its larger competitors.
Dangdang pushes out nearly half a million during the 1960s and 70s. I dragged my This circumstance prompted us to create
copies of The Magic School Bus. In all, 2.2 editor along for a six-month cross-country a little bookstore, Space, within our two-
million multivolume book sets (approxi- trip to seek out the original artistssome story office in August 2016, Yan says.
mately 64 million copies) of various edi- of whom were deceasedand the result, We went from CNY 13,000 in monthly
tions have been sold. Dangdang sold after considerable effort spent on repro- receipts to CNY 30,000 a year later. Now
upwards of 260,000 copies last November ducing these old works, is a 77-volume we are nearing the CNY 1 million mark,
11the equivalent of Black Friday in the Classic Picture Books in China series, she Yan adds. She set up a dedicated marketing
U.S. There are many other bestsellers at says. Its September 2013 launch was one team three years ago to focus on promo-
Beijing Dandelion, of of the highest points in tional activities and leverage social media
course, including my publishing career. channels for sales. We have to make our
Aleksandra and Daniel Domestic sales upwards own way independently, she says.
M i z i e l i n s k i s M a p s of 40,000 sets within a But it is not just about the bottom line
(700,000 copies sold) year have jump-started at Beijing Dandelion. A book is not just
and Maurice Sendaks rights negotiations with for reading; it is also for collecting and
Where the Wild Things publishers in Japan, entertaining and for lasting through gen-
Are (133,000 copies). Malaysia, and Singapore erations, Yan says. The production and
Yans penchant for for the series. materials used must do justice to the con-
uncovering old gems Original picture tent or else the intrinsic value of a book is
There Is Always a Reason to Eat
has led her to authors Buns sold 7,000 copies in the first two books carefully developed lost. That, I believe, is also the responsi-
such as Richard Scarry months. by Yan and her team of bility of a discerning publisher.

12 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Dandelion Childrens Book House

Sunny, a lovely pig is leaving his hometown, relatives and friends to embark on an exciting
journey. Along the way, he experiences all sorts of encounters. In this book, the author
expresses her thoughts about dreams and the future. The fresh text coupled with vivid
illustrations is both heart-warming and inspiring.

Jiuer Illustrator, picture book author, and sculptor. She has been involved in art sculptures for many
years. In 2013, she began to focus on creating childrens picture books. She loves using pictures to
record life and express her thoughts and emotions.
Rights sold: English, French

The Girl From The French Fort

A sunken French warship a century old.
A mysterious fort built on the side of the Yangtze.
The first fantasy novel from Hong Ying who grew up beside Fort Odent has combined her extraordinary
imagination with a world of mystery and magic.

Hong Ying, who grew up near Fort Odent, delivers her first fantasy novel that combines her extraordinary
imagination with a world of mystery and magic.
Cherry Denman studied at The Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford followed by an M.A. from the Royal
College of Art in London. She began illustrating books with film director Richard Curtis, and went on to
publish more than twenty titles on her own while working with other writers. Her titles include The History
Puzzle, A Dreamer of Dreams, A Modern Book of Hours, Wake Up Charlie Dragon, Molly and the Magic
Umbrella, Pirates, The Little Peacocks Gift, and the Little Green Book.

The Magical Stories about a Boy who Lived Besides the Yangtze River
The Award Winner of Primo de Rome

Please contact:
Jing Bo (Foreign Rights Manager)
WeChat ID: pugongyingkids
Childrens Books in China

Childrens Fun
Publishing Company

hildrens Fun Publishing is a children to adopt a much more open and Ao Ran, general manager of Childrens Fun
joint venture between inclusive attitude toward the world Publishing Company
Egmont Group and Posts & around them.
Telecommunications Press, Among the CFP partnerships, the lon- readers, Ao says. We have to learn about
so the wealth of foreign gest and most extensive is with Disney, the required vocabulary, pedagogy, and
works in its 6,000-title cata- which gives the team in-depth under- context; do our homework using popular
logue is not surprising. But what is most standing on the product, marketing and English-graded readers as models; under-
unique is the companys specialization localization needs. In total, CFP has sold stand exactly what children need; and
in edutainment materials in four cate- more than CNY 1 billion ($145 million) work with experts and scholars to come
goriescomics, picture books, games/ worth of Disney titles in China. A special up with the full program. This process
activity kits, and childrens literature. 2007 edition, 80 Winnie the Pooh Stories actually reveals the gapsand opportu-
Fun is literally our middle name, and for Personal Development, is the companys nitieswithin the childrens publishing
we have been delivering that to children #3 bestselling title, at 530,000 sets. Last market that need to be addressed. CFP
of all ages since we started 23 years June, to commemorate the opening of recently introduced Japanese picture-
ago, says Ao Ran, general manager of the Shanghai Disney Resort, Ao and his book series The Bears School in an effort
Childrens Fun Publishing. In 1993, the team released a limited edition boxed to make reading (and schooling) more fun,
launch of the Chinese edition of Mickey set of 17 Disney titles; 9,800 sets sold less stressful, and appealing to children.
Mouse magazine kick-started the com- within a day. Ao adds his company remains focused
panys publishing program. There was The importance of translated titles on being a link between the East and the
no such childrens magazine in China aside, 30% of CFPs catalogue are origi- West, publishing high-quality, age-
then, and ours became a bridge linking nal works, including the bestselling appropriate, fun materials to help chil-
Chinese kids with their Western coun- comic series The Legend of Nezha and dren with their development and reading
terparts, providing them with the best Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, both of progress. He adds, Our focus is on grab-
classical stories and characters to love which have firmly established the com- bing their interest with the right content,
and learn from, Ao says. panys brand and reputation in the and by doing so, to get them to start read-
Since then, products based on licensed minds of Chinese parents, teachers, and ing and cultivate good reading habits
charactersincluding Caillou, Miffy, children. Sales of Pleasant Goat have that will endure throughout their lives.
Mr. Men and Little Miss, My Little Pony, exceeded 20 million copies. In the chil- To further understand what parents,
Thomas & Friends, Tiger Team, and Winnie drens literature segment, there are two teachers, studentsand even grandpar-
the Poohhave cemented CFPs repu- big titles: Shen Shixis Wolf Queen, which entsneed in terms of content, Ao finds
tation and foothold in the Chinese has chalked up sales of 620,000 copies social media to be a great resource.
childrens book market. since 2013, and The Schakal Wolf, which Topic- and interest-specific social com-
In all, Ao and his team have collabo- has been translated into eight languages munitiesand there are a lot out
rated with more than 30 international including English, German, Polish, and thereare great conduits not just for
companies and brands including BBC, Russian. direct selling but also in providing infor-
Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Rovio, and Sanrio. More large-scale original works are mation and tips to help us tweak our
The diverse range of companies and being added to CFPs catalogue. Last May, publishing program, he says. Their
products that we work with represents the team launched the countrys first exchanges, often reflecting societal
our goal of rummelig, a Danish word that graded Chinese-language reading series concerns and market shifts, are very
roughly translates to open, adds Ao, for ages 4 to 8; all 29 titles are based on important to the growth and relevance
pointing out that the companys publi- Disney stories. China is almost a virgin of any publisher in this modern and
cations are intended to inspire Chinese territory when it comes to such graded competitive marketplace.

14 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

China Childrens
Press & Publication

CCPPG president Li Xueqian (r.), with
professor Alida Allison from the National
he Chinese home of Cipollino, model of effective and successful reading Center for the Study of Childrens Literature
Pippi Longstocking, Le petit and publishing programs. [Scholastic] at San Diego State University
Nicolas, and Tintin, China introduces bestsellers, holds pop-up
Childrens Press & Publication book fairs at schools, organizes reading quality original works continues. Among
Group is the largest publisher camps, recommends reading lists, and the picture books headlining the CCPPG
in terms of output in the hosts book clubs, he says. All these catalogue this year is A Feather, written
nation. The result of a merger between activities create a strong brand for by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by
China Teenagers Press and China Scholastic through direct interaction Roger Mello, both Andersen award win-
Childrens Publishing House in 2000, with its readers, allowing it to get ners. A second top title is Fang Suchens
the group now has five newspapers and 13 entrenched in a childs reading life. That Grandma Lives in the Fragrance Village,
periodicals, giving it a 25% stake in the is the best practice that I would like to illustrated by Sonja Danowski.
childrens newspaper and magazine mar- adapt to the Chinese market. The above works mark the start of Lis
ket. Annually, the group publishes 1,500 Chinas 2020 education reform is also cross-cultural exchange program, which
titles, of which one-third are original not far from Lis mind. With less home- pairs Chinese authors/illustrators with
works and 20% are translations. work, fewer standardized exams, decreased their overseas counterparts. The pairing
CCPPG is also a company on the verge rote learning, and more emphasis on makes the works acceptable locally while
of transforming itself into a service-ori- reading for leisure and general knowl- imbuing the content with an interna-
ented publisher. Its Juvenile & Children edge, these changes in the educational tional flavor suitable for export, he says.
Reading Experience Wonderland is an system will shift the publishing indus- This is one way we address the imbalance
experiment in bucking the conventional try, he says. For CCPPG, there has never in rights traffic, which is flowing mostly
publishing model that has proven success- been a more urgent need to ensure the one-directionally, into China. That said,
ful. Its fee-based experiential reading pro- availability of high-quality reading Li has purchased a lot of well-known titles
grams are attracting more schools around resources and services to aid a childs such as the Tintin series and Astrid
Beijing than ever and attracting the atten- learning process and needs. Lindgrens works, in order to provide
tion of CCPPGs industry counterparts. During the course of expanding the Chinese children with a diverse range of
(For more on Wonderland, see p. 4.) Wonderlands reach and services through quality reading materials. (The Chinese
Reading is essential to a childs devel- collaborations with schools, teachers, and Tintin has sold 11.6 million copies since
opment, and reading classes have been local governments, Li and his team have its 2001 launch.)
introduced at more schools throughout identified needs for (and gaps in) niche To further improve his publishing pro-
China, says Li Xueqian, president of educational content. This is where we gram and better understand the overseas
CCPPG (as well as president of the Chinese come in with custom publishing, Li markets, Li has also engaged Patricia
section of the International Board of explains. Safety education, for instance, Aldana (current president of the IBBY
Books for Young People). But how effec- is one area where schools do not have the Foundation) as an international consul-
tive are these classes? Are the teachers appropriate content and resources. So on tant, and invited Maria Jesus Gil (presi-
equipped to teach reading? Do school- December 2, which is National Traffic dent of the Hans Christian Andersen
children have the appropriate resources Safety Day, our team launched a traffic- Award jury) to Beijing for talks with
to get them interested in reading, learning, safety kitwith guidebook, role-play- CCPPG editors. By learning from the
and thinking? These questions have ing aids, reflective safety items, and so best, I hope to find a sustainable business
pushed me to establish the Wonderland onpriced at CNY 3,500. What took us model for both CCPPG and the
and to seek ways in which to improve its a month to conceptualize and produce Wonderlandnot just for the next five
services. sold 500 units within hours. years, but for the next decade and
Li is fond of citing Scholastic as a Meanwhile, the quest to produce high- beyond.

16 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Hunan Juvenile & Childrens

Publishing House

triving to uphold its stated mission to be a kids right titles and authors to plug
best friend, Hunan Juvenile & Childrens Publishing those holes, Wu says. Our first
House has been on a 35-year journey to assemble priority is always to publish orig-
the best childrens materials from near and far. inal worksnot homogeneous Wu Shuangying, v-p of Hunan
Juvenile & Childrens Publishing
Hunan Juveniles offerings from DK, Encyclopaedia productsand, if that option is House
Britannica, and Highlightsthree of its biggest not available or viable, then we
imported brandsare boosted by its long list of locally import outstanding titles with the hope of inspiring local works
renowned authors such as Tang Sulan (with the series Clumsy of the same caliber. Hunan Juveniles sales from the Childrens
Wolf, Little Witch Zhen Meili, and Fantasy Spirits), Mu Ling Britannica series, for example, exceed CNY 20 million
(with the Animal series) and Qin Wenjun (with the Prince series), annually.
and illustrators such as Cai Gao. Hunan Juveniles year-round roster of book-related activi-
It is not just about picture books with us. It is about provid- tiesthe key driver of our sales and branding exercise, Wu
ing the relevantand crucialeducational materials for every sayshas recently seen the company strengthening its collabo-
stage in a childs life, from pop science to YA literature, says ration with bricks-and-mortar bookstores. Annually, we hold
v-p Wu Shuangying, whose company offers everything from hundreds of eventsincluding events for primary and second-
vocabulary-builder books right up to science books for teenag- ary schoolers and expert-led classes for parents and teachersat
ers. This Is Science: One Thousand Proofs, for instance, is a new physical bookstores, with national chain Xinhua Bookstores
augmented-reality (AR) title based on a Hunan TV program being the most common venue, Wu explains. In rural and
about scientific exploration, while the Vanillas Stories and remote areas where online distribution is immature, bookstores
Guidebook for Girls series are targeted at the development of remain the social hubs and access points for the community and
teenage girls. for publishers, and so we must work in tandem with both physi-
We take our social responsibility as a publisher seriously, in cal and online channels to guarantee future business and brand
that we strive to identify societal needs and then look for the expansion.

A Quick Survey of Bestselling Titles in China

A survey on what is selling in the market based on sales from bricks- School life and classroom antics continued to fascinate young
and-mortar operations and online portals plus a look at a dozen major readers, sending Yang Hongyings Ma Xiaotiao (or Mos Mischief in
publishers revenues have revealed some of the bestselling titles in the HarperCollins edition) back to the bestseller list last year with a
2016 in China. The bestselling original works include the following: brand new comic edition (from Anhui Childrens Publishing House).
Putting elementary schoolers through adventure-fantasy-mystery
Charlie IX & Dodomo: The Troll at the Snow Mountain
plots proved to be a winner for mystery author Leiou Huanxiang, whose
Collection of Yang Hongyings Fairy Tales (Pinyin edition) nom de plume has been loosely translated as Leon Image. He authors
Dream of Being a Wolf King not one but two hits, Monster Master (published by Jieli Publishing
Monster Master House) and Charlie IX & Dodomo (Zhejiang Juvenile & Childrens
Naughty Ma Xiaotiao (comics edition) Publishing House). Shen Shixi, who is nationally renowned for his
animal-themed fiction, is another author with two bestselling titles.
Shen Shixis Animal Novels
The list of bestselling original works also contains some of the
The bestselling translated works include the following: longest-running series in China, with Ma Xiaotiao first came to the
scene in 2003 while Charlie IX and Monster Master made their debut
A Different Carmela in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Disney Baby Story Box But no matter how famous the above authors are, they sold far less
Geronimo Stilton than some of the major translations last year. A Different Carmela
The Magic School Bus (picture book edition) series (from Les Ptites Poules), for instance, sold 20 million copies,
while originals such as Charlie IX, Monster Master, and Naughty Ma
Mission Survival
Xiaotiao sold only about two million, 3.1 million, and 3.2 million
Peppa Pig copies, respectively.
Multivolume series continue to be popular; the only single-volume Editors note: Figures were provided by publishers participating in the quick
title on the list is Shen Shixis Dream of Being a Wolf King. survey on some of the biggest childrens book publishers; see p. 10 for details

18 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
For rights, email Wu Shuangying at

Tang Sulans Picture Books series (Bilingual)

This series of 8 picture books are carefully chosen from the many classic and
fairytale stories by renowned childrens literature writer Tang Sulan. The titles
explore different themes such as familial bond, personal growth, bravery,
friendship, and love. Illustrated by famous artists from China and Southeast
Asia, this series is highly commended by the children literary circle from both
sides of the Taiwan Straits.
6-year-old and above

The World of Cai Gao

s Picture Books series
This series of 10 picture books highlights the works of Cai Gao, the first
Chinese painter to win the Golden Apple Award at the Brastilava International
Childrens Book Fair. The Snail Girl and The Legend of Qin Hou , for instance,
represent the best of Chinese tales while King Lear and The Little Mermaid
are retellings of famous stories. All are illustrated in Cai Gaos unique and
fascinating style.
3-year-old and above

Festivals of Ethnic Groups in China (Bilingual)

Selected for the 2015 National Themed Publishing (Important Publications)
Selected for the 13th National Five Year Plan Key Publications
This series draws from Chinas diverse cultural background to present the
uniqueness and vitality of its many festivals. It is the best choice for children
eager to learn about China and its people.
6-year-old and above

The Small Plover

Won the 2015 Bingxin Children's Book Award
Listed in the Top 100 Recommended Books by the State Administration
of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) in 2015
Stationed at the outskirts of Japan for three years, the author observed,
painted, and created a book about the small plover. This is a book about the
plovers fragile relationship with nature and humans.
3-year-old and above
Childrens Books in China

Jieli Publishing

his 27-year-old publisher (a spectives from eminent educational spe- Bai Bing, editor-in-chief of Jieli Publishing
veritable young man in the cialists to help kindergarten teachers House
industry, says editor-in-chief and parents to better use the series (and
Bai Bing) is less concerned similar titles) in educating children. We authors while evaluating and figuring
with generating more new work on turning each series into a brand out how to effectively position new
titles than publishing quality of its own, and extending that brand authors and their works vis--vis market
content for children. And of the books together with its sales potential and competition and demand.
that Bai has chosen to translate over the longevityto include newly created In 2016, backlist from a catalogue of
years, many have landed on the bestseller products which the original authors may 1,200 titles accounted for nearly 70%
list, including Goosebumps (with sales not think of, Bai says. of Jielis total sales. Six series sold
of 10.8 million copies and counting), My Sales-wise, the above bestsellers pale in upwards of CNY 100 million ($16 mil-
First Discovery (7.6 million), I Spy (6.2 comparison with Jielis #1 original, Yang lion). Overall, Jielis total sales grew by
million), Mission Survival (5.3 million), Hongyings Mos Mischief series, which approximately 14% last year, hitting
and Twilight (4.3 million). has sold more than 30 million copies. CNY 492 million, nearly 45% of which
Bear Gryllss Mission Survival series, Mos Mischief entered the market in came from online channels.
which started in 2014, was lauded 2003, at a time when the Chinese book The continuing search for new works
nationwide for addressing safety educa- world was enthralled by Harry Potter, and authors has seen Jieli recently launch
tion, a subject that was conspicuously Bai says. It was a turning point for the the Cao Wenxuan Childrens Novel
missing from the curriculum. Attuned to hitherto lackadaisical childrens book Award and the Jinbo Childrens
societal and educational needs, Jieli segment, marking the start of what many Literature Award, respectively honoring
capitalized on the series success by col- refer to as the golden age of childrens two renowned names in Chinese pub-
laborating with a local safety education books in China. Bai, author of many lishing; both events will be held every
specialist to provide talks to more than titles including the picture book Bird two years. These will energize the
30,000 students and teachers in over 10 in the Cloud, is highly aware of the need industry with new creative works to suit
provinces across China. A dedicated por- for strong and cohesive author-pub- changing times, and to provide children
tal and social media account further lisher relationships. This is clearly seen with an even-wider reading selection,
provide short stories and assessments from his decision to dedicate editorial Bai says.
on the topic. Not surprisingly, 75 new and marketing staff to each Jieli author In terms of marketing strategy, Bai
titles from Grylls are already in the and title to ensure successful branding made news in 2015 when he collabo-
works. and market penetration. rated with Egypt-based partners to open
Innovation and out-of-the-box think- This is about promoting content a Jieli branch in Cairo and distribute to
ing drive our publishing program, adds creators, and expanding their influ- 22 Middle East countries. Since then,
Bai, whose team strives to make trans- encebeyond their publicationsto about 20 Arabic titles have been released.
lations even betterin design and pre- captivate the reading public. It seeks to In January, Jieli launched an imprint to
sentationthan the originals. For achieve top-of-the-mind awareness translate and publish selected titles
Gallimards My First Discovery series, when parents, teachers, or children are from London-based Usborne for the
Jieli eschewed saddle-stitching and tra- selecting or picking up a book, explains Chinese market. Says Bai, We are
ditional covers, opting for thread stitch- Bai. Even though there are a lot of new unwavering in our goals of producing
ing and rounded corners to make the Chinese authors out there, few have quality titles, forming new partnerships,
titles user-friendly and safer for young considerable market recognition or and making use of new media and distri-
kids. The company also published a pre- influence. So in most cases, we release bution channels to go direct to the
school activities guidebook with per- new titles or editions by established market.

20 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
The King Book (5 Volumes)
The King Book is the only fantasy story written by Cao Wenxuan, the 2016 recipient of
the Hans Christian Andersen award and China Outstanding award.
Archenemy Xi rules the country and people live in extreme misery. The King Book, which
survives the book burning movement launched by Archenemy Li, is picked up by Mang, a
child shepherd.
So now, with the book, Mang can command the world. Thus begins Mangs extraordinary
journey. He starts to garner the people's support and conquers the mountain city.
Mang discovers that the King Book is a living entity that experiences loneliness, pain,
excitement as well as joy. What it teaches Mang is more than just military strategies. It also
provides the philosophy of life, which helps to guide Mang throughout the years.

Pub date: August 2012

Dimensions: 148mm210mm
Binding: Paperback
Age: 914
Rights: World rights available
(except for English Rights, which went to Singapore)

Magic School (2 volumes ) Monster Master (18 Volumes) Blackcranes Animal Novels Series
The more magic you use, the better things are. In the magical and mysterious Blue Star, humans and These novels depict the suspenseful encounters and
With kind intentions, you can be a warm person. monsters live together. Four children, with the same thrilling fights between Tibetan mastiff and leopard and
dream of becoming Monster Master, embark on an explore the emotional ties between animals and human
exciting adventure to achieve their goals. More than beings.
Pub date: January 2017 13.66 million copies sold in China.
Dimensions: 148mm210mm Pub date: March 2017
Binding: Paperback Pub date: August 2012 Dimensions: 148mm210mm
Age:712 Dimensions: 140mm210mm Binding: Paperback
Rights: World rights available Binding: Paperback Age: 7-12
Age: 914 Rights: World rights available
Rights: World rights available (except for one title, Black Flamme, which has been sold to
(except for Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese editions) Canada, France, Germany, Korea, Vietnam and the U.S.)
Childrens Books in China

Juvenile & Childrens

Publishing House

stablished in 1952, Juvenile & which will add considerably to the Zhou Qing, president and editor-in-chief of
Childrens Publishing House companys sales and market influence: Juvenile & Childrens Publishing House
was Chinas first professional Take our Juvenile Science magazine as
childrens publisher and is part an example. I rebranded it 100,000 Whys characters such as Eloise, Garfield, and
of the much larger Shanghai three years ago to capitalize on the success Peter Pan, and bestsellers including
Century Publishing. It is also of the book series and to realign our David McKees Elmer, Akiko Hayashis
Chinas most active publisher in rights editorial efforts. It resulted in our col- Baby series, Sam McBratney and Anita
selling, starting with the 1979 sale of laboration with National Geographic in Jerams Guess How Much I Love You, and
picture book Precious Boat to Japan. Since 2015, and today we have three different Richard Pecks A Long Way from Chicago,
then, more than 1,500 titles have been editionsfocusing on learning, explora- Zhou says, adding that the companys first
exported to countries including France, tion, and discoveryto further promote translated work, Disneys Mickeys Wonderful
Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. JCPH science education. World, was released in 1993.
publishes 800 titles per year, along The rebranding effort also includes a Picture books are one of JCPHs big
with eight journals and two weekly 100,000 Whys Museum in Shanghais segments; the publisher recently launched
newspapers. Baoshan District and a winter science the Crocodiles Fall in Love with Giraffes
Creating long-running bestsellers is a camp in Xishuangbanna (along the boxed set containing three titles from
JCPH tradition, and 100,000 Whys is one Myanmar/Laos border with China) in the Daniela Kulot. The market is paying a
outstanding example. Launched in 1961, past year. This brand now covers not lot of attention to the zero-to-six age
the current 18-volume 100,000 Whys just books and magazines, but also group due to the spotlight on preschool
boasts contributions from 110 academi- online communities and science curricu- education and early childhood reading,
cians and 700 scientists. The full-color lum recommendation and assessments, says Zhou, whose original picture book
sixth edition has received accolades from adds Zhou, who is working on a science series The Adventures of Sanmaofeaturing
schools, teachers, parents, and the gov- literacy evaluation system modeled a protagonist who has only three hairs on
ernment for developing scientific think- upon the American Association for the his headhas sold more than 10 million
ing and reasoning in the young. Around Advancement of Sciences Project 2061. sets since 1959 and is now available in
2.5 million sets of the latest edition JCPH is also active in organizing events French.
have been sold, and it is now available aimed at brand promotion and aware- Zhou attributes the companys success
in six languages, including Kazakh, ness. The companys magazine The Kingdom (sales doubled between 2010 and 2015) to
Uyghur, and Vietnamese. of Story has sponsored a nationwide meticulous content development. Our
Many of our bestsellers were pub- storytelling competition for the past 18 contributors and editorial team took
lished in the 1950s and 1960s by old years. The success of the 365 Bedtime three years to produce the new edition of
publishing houses, which were acquired Stories picture book series led to the launch 100,000 Whys, she notes. But many
by our parent company, explains Zhou of a spin-off series, Little Frog Stories. content creators today are not as patient
Qing, president and editor-in-chief of We set up a Little Frog storytelling game or meticulous as authors of old. Research
JCPH. Given the shifts in demograph- on our WeChat account, and 90,000 is often insufficiently done, resulting in
ics and market preferences, we are now participated overnight, Zhou says. subpar quality. And that worries me, since
working on ensuring that these old This platform has become our direct- we are determined to create long-running
publications meet current market to-market communications channel for products that can be branded, expanded,
demands and will continue to thrive for more reading activities as well as promo- and promoted extensively. Zhou adds
generations to come. tional services for that brand. that JCPH is looking for new content
For Zhou, successful branding is But it is not just about originals at promoting scientific thinking and
critical in extending the product line, JCPH. We have introduced beloved unique picture books.

22 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Xinjiang Juvenile
Publishing House

his year marked the 60th anni- with famous figures of Chinese history. Xu Jiang, president of Xinjiang Juvenile
versary of Xinjiang Juvenile Mings stories strike a chord not just with Publishing House
Publishing House, which is children from China but also with children
located in Xinjiang, a province from overseasresulting in sales of the cation with our overseas partners. Xus
that makes up one-sixth of series rights to Brazil, Portugal, and team is applying those lessons to pro-
Chinas total land area and the U.S. mote and brand another big series, Marc
borders eight countries, including Another of XJPHs series, the seven- Browns Arthur. We bought 50 titles in
Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, and volume Quintessence of Chinese Opera, 2011, and the total sales have already
Russia. Its location in the vast nations makes classic Chinese opera stories acces- exceeded one million copies.
interior and the presence there of 47 sible and enjoyable to children. Launched Increased dealings with overseas part-
ethnic groups have influenced XJPHs during the 2014 Shanghai Childrens ners prompted Xu to establish an office
unique publishing program. Book Fair, this groundbreaking series has in Cologne, Germany, in July 2016, to
Afanti, a Uighur protagonist who is been reprinted five times for a total of forge closer collaborations with and gain
never far from his donkey or a witty 150,000 copies. Four more titles will soon better understanding of the global book
remark, is XJPHs most famous brand. His be added to this series while five more are market. To date, Xu and his team have
stories are inspired by the folklore corpus in development, adds Xu, whose company bought rights from over 20 countries,
of Nasreddin, who lived nearly 750 years has also published a 14-volume series on including Finland, Sweden, the U.K.,
ago and whose stories are celebrated by the Mongolian epic Jangar, illustrated to and the U.S. Among XJPHs most recent
various cultures and countries along the highlight the nomadic culture, warring acquisitions are Chris Monroes Monkey
ancient Silk Road. More than 30 Afanti tribes, and rugged landscape of Mongolia. with a Tool Belt and the Maniac Muffins and
titlescovering picture books, comics, But Xu is just as keen to bring in the Isabelle Simlers Cette nuit-l au muse
and fiction for children ages 312have best books from overseas. Among the com- (That night at the museum).
been created by XJPH since 2005, with panys biggest ever imports is Berenstain Im interested in having current best-
over one million copies sold. Bears. After it bought rights to the series sellers such as the Magic School Bus series
Delving into Xinjiang folktales, his- in 2003, XJPH published 30 Berenstain translated into minority languages, Xu
tory, culture, and literature to produce titles in three years and trademarked says, pointing out the need to make
outstanding titles is what we do best, says the name BeiBei Xiong (literally, BeiBei proven and quality content available in
Xu Jiang, president of XJPH, which is Bears) in China. It took XJPH five long Kazakh and Uighur in the province.
the only multilingual childrens press in years to promote the series, which came However, since sales will only be a frac-
China, with publications in Chinese, into the market at a time when little tion of the simplified-Chinese edition,
Kazakh, and Uighur. At the same time, attention was paid to picture books. Ten publishers do need to consider accepting
mostly due to our remote location, we years later, sales for the series (totaling a lower rights fee for these minority-
are able to give fresh perspectives on, say, 147 titles) exceeded 18 million copies. language editions and to think of it as a
Beijing culture and its tourist attractions. Unfortunately, the rights deal was not philanthropic gesture to help support the
Bao Dongnis When I Was in My Childhood renewed after 2014. reading needs of minority children.
series, for instance, is about snacks, hutongs, It was a huge disappointment and a For Xu, Xinjiangs name, which lit-
and life in old Beijing seen through the big lesson, Xu says. We did not commu- erally means new frontiers, perfectly
eyes of children. Another series, Mings nicate enough on the progress made and encapsulates his mission of leveraging
Adventure, revolves around a young on the effectiveness of the trademark and Xinjiangs cultural diversity, openness,
boys travelsvisiting the terra-cotta events in turning the series into a best- and talents to rise to new market chal-
army, the Forbidden City, and the Great selling brand. We learned the need for lenges and opportunities, domestically
Wall, for instanceand his encounters directand more effectivecommuni- and internationally. 

24 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Zhejiang Juvenile
& Childrens
Publishing House

ith its 2016 sales lion copies, with some translated into 11 Wang Zhong, president of Zhejiang Juvenile
accounting for at least languages. Animal stories such as these & Childrens Publishing House
7.5% of the Chinese are suitable for children everywherein
childrens book market, China or overseasbecause there is little Peter Carnavass The Children Who Loved
Zhejiang Juvenile & cultural, social, or national background Books, which has sold 100,000 copies, and
Childrens Publishing in such plots, Wang says. The stories are work with big brands such as Disney (on
House is the indisputable #1 childrens evergreen while also cultivating love and movie tie-ins), DreamWorks (on Kung
publisher in the country, a position it has respect for nature and wildlife. Fu Panda), Hasbro (on My Little Pony),
occupied for the past 14 years. In fact, But Zhejiang Juvenile, which many and the National Geographic Society.
almost 30% of Chinas bestselling chil- industry observers regard as a talent and Annually, Zhejiang Juvenile publishes
drens titles come from this 34-year-old brand incubator, is not focused solely on around 650 new titles, of which 20% are
company. multivolume series. One of its original translations. Its limited success in selling
One series that propels Zhejiang single-volume picture books, I Love You, rights, despite participating in major
Juvenile to the top of the childrens for instance, has been published in Australia international fairs over the years, led to
bookselling ranking is Yang Hongyings and Malaysia, with a U.K. edition set for the companys 2016 takeover o f
Naughty Boy Ma Xiaotiao (titled Mos release soon. We have an abundance of Australian publisher New Frontier
Mischief in the HarperCollins edition). local works and authorsin picture books, Publishing. It was the first overseas acqui-
About 23 million copies have been sold middle grade series, and childrens litera- sition by a Chinese childrens publisher.
since the series 2003 launch; the latest turewaiting to be discovered by children Besides having new publications that
volume (#24), released seven months ago, from other parts of the world, Wang says. we can translate for the Chinese market,
has already passed 570,000 copies sold. Many revolve around universal themes we now have a new conduit to reach the
Then there is Leon Images Charlie IX & that transcend geographic and cultural global market, where our understanding
Dodomo, currently the bestselling series barriers. of consumers needs and demands is not
in the Chinese market. Charlie IXs plot As for translations into Chinese, no where it should be, Wang says.
twists and turns keep children in sus- other series is as popular or closely asso- New Frontiers U.K. branch office is
pense. The eagerly anticipated next volume ciated with Zhejiang Juvenile as the now Zhejiang Juveniles wholly owned
will push the series total sales beyond its Adventures of Tiger-Team. Launched in subsidiary and will focus on promoting
current total of 66 million copies. So 2001, the series has sold tens of millions Zhejiang Juveniles list internationally.
popular is Charlie IX that Zhejiang of copies. Author Thomas Brezinas visits We have the publishing expertise and
Juvenile has produced two different ver- and tours to meet his fans and participate market knowledge honed through years of
sionsa full-color comics version and in various activities throughout China producing blockbuster seriesoriginals
novel versionfor different age groups. were instrumental in branding this series and importedand nurturing home-
Our three biggest brands are Naughty and pushing its sales, Wang says. Together, grown talents, Wang says. Now we are
Ma, Charlie IX, and Shen Shixis animal- we created a longstanding bestseller that seeking collaborations with like-minded
themed fiction seriesand we are focused is essentially Chinas first blockbuster overseas publishers that are looking into
on expanding these IPs into new markets, childrens series. Wang emphasizes the further penetrating the Chinese book
says Wang Zhong, president of Zhejiang need for continuous and close collabora- market through copublishing or transla-
Juvenile, adding that the paperback edi- tion with authors in market-facing com- tions and importing our titles for their
tion of Shens latest, Dream of Being a Wolf munications and interactions. In a year, markets. Lets work together to enrich
King, has sold over 4.8 million copies since the company organizes no fewer than 500 childrens reading world and provide
October 2009. As of December 2016, author-related events. them, wherever they are, with the best
Shens titles have sold upward of 25 mil- Wang and his team also translated titles.

26 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Trends in the Rights Market

Over the past decade, Associates. That market prior to licensing it. The process can
China has impor ted has led to a booming be challenging but it is useful and valuable
c l a s s i c c h i l d r e n s picture book publish- to both parties.
books of all genres ing segment, which According to executive v-p Vincent Lin of
from the West at a rate has attracted many Shanghai-based Big Apple Agency, chil-
far faster than it would new entrants. But drens publishers are not buying just pic-
have taken another this being a fast- ture books or board books, they are also
country or territory to changing childrens bringing in foreign educational systems
accomplish, observes book market, time such as Montessori and Waldorf into
director Chen Yushiuan will tell if some of China. Chinese parents are now heavily
of Beijing-based Bardon these entrants con- involved in their childrens educations
Chinese Media Agency. Chen Yushiuan, director at Bardon tinue to invest or opt right from preschool leveland are taking
These titles are not Chinese Media Agency out. the control back from schools and teach-
just for children and parents, but also for Indeed, there has been a ers, he adds. So the par-
teachers, schools, and preschool-educa- lull in rights buying of picture ents are now selecting and
tion specialists, she says. More publish- books in recent months. buying books and educational
ers are also arranging author/illustrator Many Chinese editors are materials for the children, and
tours to promote titles, cultivate fan bases, turning their focus to original this represents a major shift
and boost sales, as well as to educate, works, Huang explains. of responsibilities in a typical
inspire, and motivate local editors. However, we have more three-generation Chinese
Chen finds that, unlike in previous and betterdeals for chil- household, where the role of
y e a r s , p u b l i s h e r s a r e n o w l o o k i n g drens fiction, covering chap- the grandparents, often the
beyond award-winning titlesthose by ter stories, middle grade primary caregivers, has been
acclaimed authors/illustratorsor series. fiction, and YA novels. The drastically reduced.
Preferences are changing, with publish- titles Huang and her team Meanwhile, Chinas two-
Vincent Lin, executive v-p
ers becoming more selective, she says. recently sold include Gemma child policy is a big lure to new
at Big Apple Agency
Currently, there is a heightened demand Fowlers Moondust, Trenton entrants looking at the chil-
for titles for children up to age three, cover- Lee Stewarts The Secret Keepers, Sarah drens book segment, especially since the
ing novelty titles, pop-ups, touch and feels, Crossans The Weight of Water, and Jeremy Chinese government is planning to aban-
and board books, for instance. Chens team Chatelains May the Stars Drip Down. don restrictions on family size within the
negotiated the sales for David Wiesners And for those publishers who are getting next couple of years. So more publishers
Fish Girl, Carson Elliss Du Iz Tak?, Matthew weary of intense rights bids and auctions, are expected to jump onto the band-
Olshans A Voyage in the Clouds, Anthony Huang points out that auctions are useful wagon, Lin says. At the same time, we are
Brownes Hidden, and Roger Hargreavess in allowing the licensee and licensor to hearing about soft restrictions on the
Doctor Who. carefully evaluate a titles potential in the quantity of licensed titles, with content
Chinese publishers have vetting applied to surpris-
become very adept at leveraging ingly regular titles. Lin adds
both physical and online sales that the competitive
channelsspecifically social Chinese market has driven
media marketing and commu- advances much higher and
nity-based platformsto maxi- made auctions the new
mize their reach, Chen adds. It normal.
has worked very well for chil- The Big Apple team
drens books, which are mostly recently handled the rights
sold as limited-time offers and f o r J u l i a D o n a l d s o n s
virtual-book-club specials. Gruffalo activity and audio
Chinese parents, who are now books, Liz Kesslers Emily
aware of the importance of read- Windsnap series, Marjorie
ing to preschoolers, are buying Weinman Sharmats Nate
lots of picture books, says Jackie the Great series, Diane
Huang, Beijing-based chief repre- L. to r.: Andrew Nurnberg and Jackie Huang of ANA with Bai Bing, Adams Love Is, and Carlton
sentative of Andrew Nurnberg Solene Xie, and Olivia Wang of Jieli Publishing House Books Ice Age AR. 

28 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Social Media Marketing

Takes Center Stage
Leveraging a new channel for book promotion and distribution
By Teri Tan

In the past several years, social media has become an within an hour with the help of social
media. Another customized product,
increasingly significant part of bookselling and in China Caillou Graded English Readers, was
this convergence has been more fruitful than anyone could promoted through publishing-ser-
vices-company Ivy Dad Education
have imagined and is more advanced than anywhere else Technologys platform at CNY 156, and
in the world. And much of the credit goes to two services: first-day sales hit 3,500 sets. The Chinese
Classic Stories set created by Shanghai
WeChat and Weibo.

Animation Studio sold more than 5,000
sets in 24 hours.
ll-purpose mobile app these publishers are adopting, in a very Examples of successful social-media-
WeChat is the Chinese big way, the so-called third platform, based sales are aplenty at 21st Century
answer to WhatsApp. where social media, mobile and cloud Publishing Group as well. In July 2016,
Launched three years ago by computing, and analytics come together. about 14,000 sets of its 12-volume Bear
Tencent, it combines ser- Such social media sites are getting a lot Baby EQ picture book series were sold
vices such as text messag- of attention from venture capitalists. within a three-day period with the help
ing, voice and video calling, mobile pay- Parenting platform Niangao Mama of social media. Two months later, a
ment, branded accounts, shopping, and (whose name means sticky-rice-cake mom), half-day sales promotion of a new three-
games. Verified WeChat accounts with for instance, is so popular with users that volume edition of Unique Magic Stickers
over 100,000 followers are eligible to it received a CNY 60 million ($8.7 netted 10,000 sets sold, aided by social
place advertisements. Currently, WeChat million) investment in January. The media. Then in October, 10,000 sets of
is the leading Chinese social media plat- platform has a broad network of mater- the six-volume A Different Carmela:
form, with 1.1 billion registered accounts nity and childcare communities, Young Readers edition were sold within
and 846 million monthly active users. 100,000-plus articles, and an e-com- a day.
Then there is Weibo, which means merce site with monthly transactions Through social media, word of mouth
microblogging in Chinese. Several totaling CNY 80 million. hits an entirely new level, observes Ao
companies offer weibo services, but the Ran, general manager of Childrens Fun
leader of the pack is Sina Weibo, which Growing Sales and Publishing Company. Since online com-
is a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. Social Influence munities operate on peer influence, a
With registered and monthly active At Childrens Fun Publishing, social good product review will help to move
users numbering 600 million and 313 media marketing has proven to be very hundreds of sets or copiesor hurt sales
million, respectively, Sina Weibo is effective in promoting and selling if the review is unfavorable, he says.
favored for its fast-loading video content higher-priced titles. One commemora- There is no denying that such commu-
and live streaming. tive Disney book set, Happy Tour in nities are great for kick-starting conver-
In the past year especially, Chinese Disney, published to mark the opening sations around a particular book, author,
publishers are turning to WeChat- and of the Shanghai Disney Resort in June topic, or event and for providing invalu-
Weibo-enabled social media marketing 2016, was marketed at CNY 298 able feedback. Sales potentials aside, I
sites and online communities to create a ($43.40), and 2,989 sets were sold find that online communities can serve
new bookselling channel. In essence, within the first eight minutes, 6,564 as barometers of market needs.
30 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Social media and online communities

exert considerable influence over their
followers or friends, observes Zhang
Qiulin, president of 21st Century
Social media
Publishing Group. That is something platforms such as Niangao
that bricks-and-mortar operations are Mama (top) and YourBay
not able to achieve, he says. Furthermore, are doing brisk business in
such social platforms tend to focus on promoting and selling
working mothers and young parents, childrens books in China.
who are eager to ensure that their chil-
dren have the best books available. These chief Sally Yan has more than
parents may not have the time to visit 100 groups and 7,000 friends
physical bookstores, or know what to on her own WeChat account.
look for at an online retailer. But through Potential sales through such
their communities they are communi- messaging apps and online
cating with their peer groups who share social circles have brought
the same interests and concerns about new energy to my company,
their own children, and are exchanging she says, and Im sure that
information about relevant reading applies to the industry as a
materials. whole.
Identifying opinion leaders is there- Yan and her team interact directly with for about 40% of our online book sales
fore essential to a successful social media online social communities organized last year, Zhang says, adding that
marketing strategy, says editor-in-chief around groups of people, topics, and inter- another 40% came through the online
Bai Bing of Jieli Publishing House. For ests such as childrens librarians, picture platform T-Mall.
this reason, we provide detailed synopses books, parenting, primary schoolers, and At Jieli Publishing House, even
of selected titles targeted at specific working mothers. We have a continu- though its social media marketing activi-
followers or groups, who will then, hope- ous marketing program planned for each ties kick-started only in March 2015,
fully, spread their opinions to influence community, offering exclusive editions, these are now bringing in 15% of its
others within their communities, he limited-time offers, and special deals, for total book sales. Another 47% of its sales
notes. Since this is a direct-to-market instance, she says. There is a lot of come from online retailers, while the rest
channel, careful crafting of the message experimentation in our social media mar- come from bricks-and-mortar opera-
is crucial, or else the campaign will fall keting activities, which only kicked off tions, primarily Xinhua Bookstores.
flat. in 2015. For Beijing Dandelion, its 2016 sales
Voted the most popular WeChat offi- through online channels exceeded CNY
cial account in the Chinese publishing Maintaining the 20 million ($2.9 million), with 90%
industry in 2016, Jielis social media Old Channels coming from Dangdang alone, and the
presence is the envy of many. With more But the third-platform activities detailed rest from social media platforms. Yans
than 10,000 followers and 12 reading- above do not negate the importance of marketing team is focused on two
promotions groups, its online events can online retailers such as Amazon China, major distribution channels: online
easily attract somewhere between 20,000 Dangdang, and JD, which still account retailer Dangdang and social media
and 40,000 people. The company also for a huge portion of sales for Chinese communities.
works with more than 300 chat-group publishers. But in a vast country with As for engaging in social media mar-
organizers. In the past two years we have only one major bookstore chain (Xinhua keting and interacting with online
collaborated with e-commerce company Bookstores), Chinese publishers search communities, Yan finds that it can be
Yourbay Growth Club, Bai says. For for new promotional and distribution exhausting and distracting: While social
our Barbapapa-series promotion, for channels is to be expected. Many pub- media offers plenty of advantages in
instance, we organized 500 storytelling lishers though maintain close collabo- terms of spreading the news about
sessions through Yourbays picture book rations with major online retailers upcoming titles and holding sales pro-
reading clubs. Our agreement with and continue to support traditional motions, social media strategies need
Yourbay is such that we also have access bookstores. careful planning. Half of my time will be
to its chat groups to promote selected Nearly half of 21st Century Publishing spent on social media if I am not careful.
titles or share more information on Groups book sales, for instance, come And that would be terribleI wouldnt
upcoming events and books. from online channels. Retailers such as have enough time to acquire new titles
Over at Beijing Dandelion, editor-in- Amazon, Dangdang, and JD accounted or unearth old gems.
W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 31
Childrens Books in China

21st Century
A Gallery of Hot Publishing

Titles from China Hahaha

Michael Grejniec
What Chinese publishers are showcasing and inspiring,
this picture
at the Bologna Childrens Book Fair book is about
a frog named
Hahaha who
By Teri Tan wonders about his lack of a tail and
his journey to find the tail in question.
(Ages 36.)
The titles Chinese publishers are bringing to the Bologna
Childrens Book Fair in April run the gamut from downright whim- A Pandas Story
Tang Yaming
sical to outrageously adventurous. Contemporary themes and plots Beautifully illus-
weave through many of the picture books, representing a major shift trated in black-and-
white (with vivid
from the oft-regurgitated folktales and classical stories of past years. red text), A Pandas
Story chronicles
Illustrations often blend the best of Chinese traditional art styles the birth, growth,
ink wash and paper cutting in particularinto something that is and survival of a
panda, and that
uniquely Chinese and yet universal and modern. Those titles that do pandas reunion with his mother.
engage with Chinese culture, folktales, and history, on the other hand, Weaved into the story is the 2008
Sichuan earthquake that devastated
are given a unique spin to make the stories fresh, engaging, and acces- much of the giant pandas habitat.
(Ages 36.)
sible to young readers around the world.

Express Delivery
he ever-present educational slant in the Chinese childrens book industry (and from Dinosaur
the market demand therefor) is impossible to miss: the illustrations are not
Dong Yanan
there just for the sake of prettying up the pages but to highlight the content This mysterious
and to educate. And, in consideration of the emotional makeup (and develop- package unveils a
mental needs) of the young, the content is always geared to the thoughtful, prehistoric world
warm, and sensitive. Storybooks and bilingual editions for the very young (up of dinosaurs of
different shapes
to age three) are popping up in this showcase, indicative of a nation that is placing a lot
and colors. The
of emphasis on early childhood education and an industry working hard to fulfill the 10 adventures within contain activi-
content and quality requirements of preschool teachers and young parents. ties, puzzles, and games that will
Also obvious are the presence of many middle grade and young adult titlesthe two keep your child entertained for hours.
categories that have been slow to pick up in China due to its exam-centric education (Ages 58.)
system and pedagogy (which are now set for a complete overhaul in 2020). Humor is a
Youre My Sister
significant element in such titles. Peng Xuejun
Famous names and personalitiesCao Wenxuan, Qin Wenjun, Shen Shixi, Tang Sulan, In a remote and
and Yang Hongying, for instanceare going to be well represented at Bologna. So are mul- scenic village
tivolume series of the educational and fantasy/mystery kind, which have been selling very well where life is
simple, a group
in China, especially through online retailers and social media platforms.
of girls from two
Selling rights are on top of everybodys agenda at Bologna, and Chinese publishers are different fami-
no exception. To ease the rights-selling process, many Chinese publishers are working lies illustrate
on translating their titles and preparing English-language samplers (chapters or whole bonds of love
books) to bring along to the fair. and friendship
that are lasting, pure, and precious.
The 10 publishers profiled in this special report will be at Bologna, and the following
(Ages 814.)
pages contain a sampling of their original Chinese publications on offer, for which they
have provided descriptions.
32 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

Anhui Childrens Beijing Childrens Fun

Publishing Dandelion Publishing
House Childrens Book Company
Baby I Know House Goodnight, Wolf
You Tang Sulan
Xiaomi Grows Up
Wu Xia This series is
Yin Jianling
Each book in a continuation
With her family
this series of the authors
thrown into disar-
recreates the bestselling
world of chil- books about
falls ill, and mother
dren, exploring that worlds innocence wolves. In this series, the protagonist
has to move to a
as well as its fantastical and scary is awkward, awesome, kind, and funny,
mountain village for
bits. The series urges parents to take and totally relatable to young children.
six months for workfirst-grader
it slow and to try to appreciate a childs (Two volumes; ages 39.)
Xiaomi makes her own decisions,
thought processes, perspectives, and
finds unexpected surprises, and gains
emotions. (Five volumes; ages 36.) Chinese Fairy
many new experiences. (Six volumes;
Tales Through
ages 7up.)
Fun Pop-up the Generations
Classic Fairy Edited by Wang
Classic Picture
Tales Quangen
Books in China
Zhou Meiqiang This compendium
Edited by Yan
Classic fairy tales, offers six classic
Xiaoli et al.
from the tortoise- ancient Chinese
This collection
hare race to fairy tales. One of
celebrates the
Pinocchio, now them, Yeh-hsien, is one of the oldest
best of Chinese
come with complex pop-ups and pull versions of Cinderella, told some 800
picture books
tabs! Each book offers 16 beautifully years before the version popular today.
and original illustrations from the
illustrated pages for fun parent-child (Six volumes; ages 7up.)
1960s and 1970s. It contains clas-
interaction. (Eight volumes; up to age 3.)
sics such as The Giant Turnip, Pony
Chinese Classics
Crossing the River, and Pig Eating the
Naughty Pip & Traditional
Watermelon. (11 volumes; ages 3up.)
Wang Fahua Animations
The story of Pips Shanghai
Through the Eyes
lively and innocent Animation Film
of a Teenager
lifefull of fun Studio
Yin Jianling
and mischiefis With hand-
Orphaned during
used to advance painted illustra-
the 1937 Battle of
a better under- tions by Chinese
standing of, and masters, this series, which includes
a 12-year-old grew
better responses to, a childs behavior The Monkey King, is a perfect
up amid strangers
and psychological and emotional addition to any home library. (Two
in orphanages to
makeup, in order to help a child become nine-volume sets; ages 3up.)
become a postman. Through all these
a confident and good person. (Two
years, he continued to believe that his
volumes; ages 36.) Original Picture
younger sister did not perish during
Books from
the battle (Ages 7up.)
Father Tree Zhang Leping
Liu Haiqi Award
You Give Me
Environmental Chen Lianhua et al.
Roses, What
concerns and The books in this
Do I Give You?
the authors wild series are winners
Fang Suzhen
imagination give of the award
Written to mark
rise to these nov- named for comic
World Book Day,
els, which revolve artist Zhang Leping, who played a key
this title starts
around a troubled role in the development of modern
with a raccoon
botanist, his wise wife, marauding comics (or manhua) in China, and
giving a squirrel
arms dealers, and helpful animals. whose notable work is the stories of
a rose as a gift, which the squirrel
A happy (and green) read full of joy, the three-haired boy Sanmao. This
then gives to her mother, who decides
magic, and ecological awareness. series showcases the best of Chinese
to tell a story in return. And the story
(Three volumes; ages 1114.) manhua in recent years. (Six volumes;
is then passed on from one to the
ages 38.)
next as a gift. (Ages 3up.)

34 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Childrens Books in China

China Childrens Hunan Juvenile Jieli

Press & & Childrens Publishing
Publication Publishing House
Group House On the Origin of
The Adventure Species
Lemon Butterfly
of Prince Miao Desui
Cao Wenxuan
Qin Wenjun This exquisite
Illustrated by Roger
The characters and book relates
Mello, the pages of
adventures in this Darwins aca-
this book follow a
series occur in a demic life, his
realistic world where theory of evolu-
butterflys journey
children and adults tion, and the
across deserts, rivers, and moun-
alike will encounter impact of his discoveries on todays
tains in search of a field of flowers.
beauty and ugliness, simplicity and world. Using plain language and hun-
Unfortunately, the field of flowers is
complexity, happiness and sadness. dreds of illustrations, this book is both
submerged in flood water. This is a
Readers are encouraged to find the illuminating and accessible to young
story of nature, dreams, and unflinching
wisdom, courage, and strength to children. (Ages 7up.)
courage. (Ages 6up.)
face life challenges. (Three volumes;
ages 812.) School of Cool
Daddy, Dont
Be Afraid
Animals Wu Xiangmin
Bai Bing
Mu Ling This is Chinas
Father Bear
Whether it is tell- very first original
and Cub Kaka
ing the story of a comic series that
go out to find
wolf, boar, eagle, offers in-depth
food, with the
or extinct dino- knowledge of the
latter warned
saur, this series insect world. The
not to eat white-flowering rabbit grass,
depicts the harsh- series vividly illustrates all sorts of
lest he turn into a rabbit. But when
ness of the natural world even as it insects while highlighting their unique
Father Bear turns into a rabbit, Kaka
praises the beauty, diversity, and characteristics, habits, and habitats
has to be his protector and grows up
resilience of the animal kingdom and through funny and entertaining adven-
fast. (Ages 36.)
nature. (Eight volumes; ages 814.) tures. (12 volumes; ages 6up.)
I Am Hua Mulan
Extraordinary Little Bird
Qin Wenjun
Life Stories Princess
Set in modern
Lin Manqiu Qin Wenjun
times, in this story
An inspiring series Two girlswillful
a little girl dreams
on the lives of and arrogant
about her name-
eight extraordi- Guoguo and kind
sake, the legend-
nary people and noble Jigu
ary warrior Hua
Warren Buffett, enter the imagi-
Mulan, and of the
Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Stephen native world of
warrior Mulans lifethe hardships of
Hawking, Steve Jobs, Ang Lee, Hayao the Kingdom of a Thousand Birds and
war, the beauty of comradeship in the
Miyazaki, and Ando Tadaothat seeks are transformed into bird princesses.
battlefield, and the longing for home.
to uncover their courage, patience, (Three volumes; ages 710.)
The modern Mulan proves just as cou-
rageous and kind as her namesake. and perseverance. (Eight volumes;
ages 812.) Little Surprise
(Ages 6up.)
Xiao Mao et al.
Stories of Using simple
Where Does
Clumsy Wolf words, this
Rice Come
Tang Sulan bilingual early
This award-winning childhood
Yu Hongchang
laugh-a-minute picture book
Young read-
series is about a series encour-
ers will learn
warm-hearted wolf ages and stimulates toddlers to
about how
who is clumsy, start learning and thinking creatively.
rice is grownthe tools used, the ideal
funny, honest, and The English text is by Harvard linguist
planting conditions, and the different
simple, and who is kind to all sorts of Josh Steinberg. (20 volumes;
stages a seed must go through before
friends (including a bunny, duckling, ages 2up)
it eventually becomes a grain of rice.
(Ages 5up.) kitten, and more). (Eight volumes;
ages 612.)

36 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
Super Wings Series (24 Volumes)
Super Wings is an original Chinese cartoon series. Its about Rodek, a
diligent and smart cargo plane, who travels around world with his friends
to deliver surprise boxes to children to help solve their problems. Rodek
reaches out to different children in different places and has a great time with
them. Young readers, through Rodek's travels and stories, will get to know
different cultures, histories and customs.

Pub date: May 2015

Dimensions: 210mm 180mm
Binding: Paperback
Age: 3+
Rights: World Available

Bird in the Cloud Do Not Skip Rope with Frog Grandma Becomes An Old Baby Girl of Firefly
This story, based on the authors life It is an ordinary day for an ordinary In this world, only she can tolerate Renowned childrens picture book
experiences, is imaginatively rendered family. But something unusual is your willfulness and bad tempers. author Pengyi teams up with famed
through traditional Chinese paper happening. Lion, giraffe, crocodile, Maybe someday she will forget the childrens illustrator Li Haiyan to tell a
cutting. While the words are few, the ostrich, reindeer, and many other way home, but she will never forget story about human and animals living
story is more than eloquently conveyed animals are coming to find Kekes you. Maybe someday she will finally in the mountain. It leads the reader to a
through the illustrations. The love and mother. But does Keke really want to leave you, but those warm memories beautiful and warm imaginative world.
search for freedom is both thought give them his mother? will have her live in your heart forever.
provoking and exceptionally moving. Pub date: May 2017
Pub date: July,2015 Pub date: March, 2016 Dimensions: 215 mm 285 mm
Pub date: November 2012 Dimensions: 215mm 275mm Dimensions: 205 mm 285 mm Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: 285mm 240mm Binding: Hardcover Binding: Hardcover Age: 5 - 8
Binding: Hardcover Age: 4-8 Age: 3+ Rights: World rights available
Age: 3+ Rights: World rights available Rights: World rights available
Rights sold for English, Japanese, Swedish, (except for Traditional Chinese edition) (except for Vietnamese edition)
Traditional Chinese and Turkish language

The Peanut Series (4 volumes) Sparrow The Turtle Family Goes to Sea Little Red Riding Hood Cant
Each volume in this series explains This profound story has wings that Using the unique embroidery patch and See Her Way
to children the concept of happiness fly through the years to reveal hidden cloth cutting techniques combined with Little Red Riding Hood, always curious
through four different topics: pursuing humanity. Compassion and love are collage and multilayered dyeing effects, about the world, wants to visit her
dreams, choosing friends, self-respect, pleasantly revealed through the dim each page in this book is a feast for the grandmother who lives in the forest. But
self-value and self-identity. history in these darkly illustrated pages. eyes. she cant see her way. What difficulties
would she encounter? How would she
Pub date: October 2013 Pub date: May 2015 Pub date: September 2016 face the Big Bad Wolf alone in the forest?
Dimensions: 185mm210 mm Dimensions: 215mm285mm Dimensions: 210mm 210 mm
Binding: Paperback Binding: Hardcover Binding: Hardcover Pub date: November 2016
Age: 3+ Age: 3-6 Age: 3+ Dimensions: 210 mm 210 mm
Rights sold for Arabic, English, French, Rights: World rights available Rights: World rights available Binding: Hardcover
Swedish, and Vietnamese editions. (except for Vietnamese edition) Age: 3+
Rights: World rights available
(except for Vietnamese edition)
Childrens Books in China

Juvenile & Xinjiang Zhejiang

Childrens Juvenile Juvenile &
Publishing Publishing Childrens
House House Publishing
Adventures of
San Mao
Comics Edition
Zhang Leping Li Qiang Five Little Wolves
Sanmao, a child Tinged with a strong Shen Shixi
with only three Xinjiang ethnic flavor, From the king of
hairs on his head, the classical stories animal stories,
is a Chinese boy of the inimitable whose books have
who is also a Afanti are delivered sold over 26 million
symbol of Chinese identity. His adven- here in three vividly illustrated volumes, copies, Five Little
tures span the 1930s (as a naughty with each focusing on his humor and Wolves is about
young boy), the 1940s (as a soldier), wisdom. (Three volumes; ages 710.) the interwoven paths of five young
and modern China (as a keen sports wolves with different personalities
fan and science enthusiast, and every- Mings and destinies. (Ages 1014.)
thing else). (Ages 610.) Adventure
Li Jian Little Boy
Baozi the A modern-day Naughty Hu
Little Bear boy gets lost Le Duoduo
Yuzhi Feixiang (or distracted) This series of
This fantasy series and ends up on novels for primary
about a three-year- great adven- schoolers in China
old boy and his little tures during his travels with his father is about life in the
magical toy bear to the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, classroom (mis-
has sold nearly the Shaolin Temple, and other places. behavior, struggles
500,000 copies (Five volumes; ages 36.) to fit in, and more) and relationships
in China. Woven in throughout are with teachers, parents, and fellow
the themes of companionship, love, Jangar classmates. It is filled with humor
responsibility, and personal growth. Liu Huimin and tips on growing up. (10 volumes;
(Six volumes; ages 69.) The essence of Mongoliaits history, ages 812.)
philosophy, politics, economy, military,
100,000 Whys, customs, and rugged landscaperuns Daddy in the Pocket
6th Edition through this epic that chronicles the Yang Peng
Edited by Han Qide heroic stories of Jangar and his 12 This highly imagina-
With new ques- commanders. (14 volumes; ages 812.) tive series is about
tions and fresh a shrunken, pocket-
content in an size father accompa-
attractive full-color nying the protagonist
design, this series Yang Ge on one
sets out to explore topics in basic adventure after another. What boy is
sciences, recent scientific discoveries worried about encountering a ptero-
and inventions, and hot issues on the sauror super villainwhen he has
leading edge of scientific research. dad in his pocket? Definitely not
(18 volumes; ages 9up.) Yang Ge! (12 volumes; ages 812.)
When I Was in My Childhood
Bao Dongni
Traditional Nono and Soso
A panorama of old Beijing from the
Chinese Reng Rongrong
1930s through the 1990s is central to
Festivals An anthology
this series, which depicts changes to
Zheng Chunhua of short stories
life and culture in the capital city and
Beautiful illus- containing the
its hutongs. (Four volumes; ages 36)
trations and popular and
lively stories whimsical tales
introduce tradi- of two boys
tional Chinese one forgetful, the other unhappy. One
festivals and customs involving activi- becomes an architect while the other
ties such as dragon-boat racing, eating becomes an actor, and their inter-
dumplings and mooncake, and kite twined lives continue to bring joy and
flying. (Eight volumes; ages 36.) insight to readers. (Ages 8up.)

38 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y M A R C H 2 0 , 2 0 1 7
For rights, contact Cecilia Xi

China Xinjiang Juvenile Publishing House

Traditional Chinese opera is the miracle of Oriental civilization

and the quintessence of traditional Chinese culture. We choose the
most influential and well-known operas, and present them in our
exquisitely illustrated and unique series of picture books.