Even though the original version of The Little Mermaid was super sad (almost-murder and suicide, anyone?), writer Hans Christian Andersen became a giant of children’s literature. Today marks his birthday as well as International Children’s Book Day, a celebration of youth literature. Even China is getting in on the act; local children’s authors are being pressured to bolster their place in the global market. To celebrate, we’ve scrounged our archives to come up with book recommendations and a list of our favorite bookstores.
- Here’s a list of the beijingkids staff’s top 10 comics books, from the world-famous Tintin and Asterix and Obelix to cult gems like Persepolis and Yoko Tsuno. See Part 1 and Part 2.
- Here’s a roundup of five excellent film adaptions of children’s books, including Neverending Story and Watership Down (warning: the latter is definitely not for young kids).
- Got a history buff on your hands? Check out this roundup of history-themed books for kids.
- The beijingkids-sponsored Panda Book Awards announced its winners for 2013-2014 last month. Click here for the list.
- The Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards nominations are currently under way. Click here to see the list of contenders. As with the Panda Book Awards, the books can be bought on Amazon.
- Dulwich College Beijing is hosting a Roundabout Book Fair on Saturday, April 12. For those who’ve never heard of Roundabout, it’s a charitable organization that matches funds with those who need it the most, including critically-ill children and orphanages in need of coal during the winter. Roundabout Book Fairs happen regularly throughout Beijing and usually take place at different international schools, with deep discounts on secondhand books of all genres.
- Sunday Storytime takes place at The Bookworm every Sunday from 11am-noon for ages 4 and over. The Bookworm also regularly hosts literary events for teens and adults, and is just starting to receive its collection of summer books.
- Have you been to Star Kids Children’s Bookstore yet? It’s seriously excellent. Alex Goh, the merchandising director, has also been sharing with us some of his favorite books for kids and teens (just type "Alex Goh" in the search bar).
- Page One offers Beijing’s best overall selection of English-language books, with branches all over the city and a section dedicated to kids’ books.
- For Chinese storybooks, there’s a store at Jianwai SOHO called Kids’ Republic Picture Book Store (Chinese-only). These books would be ideal for young children from mixed backgrounds or those looking to develop their language skills. Currently popular titles include The Hungry Little Snake (好饿的小蛇), The Ants and the Watermelon （蚂蚁和西瓜）, and I Don’t Believe in Dragons （我不相信有龙）.
Photo: Tim Pierce via Flickr