Trilingual book about friendship published on Children’s Day

May 30, 2023 - 08:30


The cover of 'Hip Hop and the Golden Forest', the latest story by Vietnamese-German writer Isabelle Müller. Photo courtesy of HCM City General Publishing House

HÀ NỘI To mark Children’s Day on June 1, the Hồ Chí Minh City General Publishing House has released Hip Hop and the Golden Forest, the latest story by Vietnamese-German writer Isabelle Müller.

The book, lovingly told by Muller and beautifully illustrated by her brother, Daniel Gaucher, is recommended for all those who believe in true friendship. In Việt Nam, it has been published in three languages – Vietnamese, English and German.

The readers will follow Hip Hop, the little flea, and Little Leaf, on their journey to the Golden Forest. A terrible storm has uprooted the huge solitary ginkgo biloba in the botanical garden near the Green Valley Zoo. Among many others, Little Leaf hopes to find her original roots in order to complete the cycle of life.

To succeed, she must find the Golden Forest that’s far away. But it must be done quickly as winter is on its way. Hip Hop volunteers to join her for this mission full of adventures.

Muller said, the world we are living in was her constant inspiration for the book.

“I love observing everything around us, from the small to the big things, and to go inside myself to memorise my feelings," she said.

"I love sharing my emotions with people. The first time I saw a ginkgo biloba leaf, it reminded me of a butterfly. It is also lovely to see the wonders of nature and animals too. Many animals hide and take the shape and colours of their surroundings in order to protect themselves. It is amazing to me.”

'Hip Hop and the Golden Forest' is illustrated by Muller's brother, Daniel Gaucher. Photo courtesy of the HCM City General Publishing House

According to the writer, Hip Hop and the Golden Forest aims first to raise children's awareness of the elements surrounding us. A huge tree is uprooted by the storm. How many years did it take for this tree to grow and reach this size? This is just one example to inspire humility and respect for nature.

When Hip Hop meets the stray dog, the topic "loneliness" is addressed. This dog is so lonely, that it has even forgotten its own name. The topics of friendship and cohesion are also discussed. Hip Hop is sensitive and empathetic. He takes on the concerns of those around him and looks for good solutions. Good listening and helpfulness are good qualities in life that young readers could learn about in the story.

Hip Hop and the Golden Forest also covers other meaningful topics such as “sense of belonging/affiliation” and “having roots”, or the issue of mindfulness.

The author said: “Little Leaf wants to go back to her roots in order to continue the cycle of life. Children should think about the importance of having roots. Do we go back to our roots after death? Is it comforting us to know that if we have roots, we can go back to them?”

The book is Muller’s second works for children, following the success of her first one, Hip Hop in the Land of Ellsaby, published in Việt Nam last year.

It is suitable for children aged between six and ten years old. All proceeds from the copyright of this book will be donated to the Muller’s LOAN Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) which aims to help Vietnamese disadvantaged children in mountainous areas have a better life. VNS