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Symposium says children's books source of lifelong inspiration

Updated: 2023-10-16 14:05 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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Author Cai Gao. [Photo provided to China Daily]

An international symposium on Cai Gao's picture books, themed Becoming a Child: Tradition and Modernity, took place on Oct 13 at the Tianfu Book Fair in Chengdu, Sichuan province, one of the largest book fairs in China's western region.

This event gathered top domestic and international experts in the fields of literature and picture books, who discussed Cai's work, and explored the philosophy behind becoming a child laid out in the picture books, as well as the passing down of the art of picture books and potential future innovations to the field.

Zhang Mingzhou, executive director of the China Publishing Association, former head of the International Board on Books for Young People, and chairman of the Life Tree Cultural Promotion Center, hosted the event at which Liu Xingbao, executive director of the Hunan Juvenile and Children's Publishing House, gave a speech.

"As a publishing house, we hope to inspire every child's curiosity and desire to explore the world through books, to boost their imagination in the earliest stages of life, and to provide lifelong nourishment and strength from this purity and beauty," he said.

Cai shared her creative philosophy with attendees. "Every country has its own traditions and rich cultural heritage that has brought it to where it is today. Our country is no exception, and that is a significant reason why my work often revolves around traditional stories."

She expressed her ongoing search to understand tradition because "it is the force that continues to guide and influence our actions".

The author said that when she writes, she treats each picture book as a beginning, and questions and refines her ideas. She views picture books as a necessity for self-improvement and self-reflection, one that allows her to return to childhood through the creative process.

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