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Children's books speak to the heart

Update: November, 27/2015 - 08:01

The first prizes went to the picture book Nguoi Ban Tuyet Voi (Wonderful Friend) by illustrator Ta Lan Hanh (Second right) and the short story entitled Hoang Tu Rom (Straw Prince) by Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa (Third left). — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The winners of a ‘writing for children' contest received their awards in Ha Noi yesterday.

The awards included two first, two second and two third prizes in two categories of short story writing and picture book writing.

The first prizes went to the picture book Nguoi Ban Tuyet Voi (Wonderful Friend) by illustrator Ta Lan Hanh and the short story entitled Hoang Tu Rom (Straw Prince) by Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa.

"I have been writing for children for a long time. The prize will encourage me in my future work. It's great that my efforts are recognised," author Hoa said. She is a volunteer teacher from the central Ninh Thuan Province.

Her short story aims to give strength to unfortunate people and help them find joy in their lives.

Meanwhile, Hanh's Wonderful Friend won the panel's hearts with a simple story about friendship and beautiful water-colour pictures.

"I knew that I was shortlisted, but didn't know who would win the big prize. It is a great surprise for me to win the first prize," illustrator Hanh said.

"I really want to thank my Danish teachers, artist Tove Krebs Lange and writer Sally Altschuler, who gave me latest illustration methods and helped me to understand children's psychology," she said.

From Da Nang, Hanh is now a contributor at the Kim Dong Publishing House. She attended four workshops on writing for children that were jointly held by the Kim Dong House and the Danish embassy in Ha Noi, under a 10-year project on children's books from 2006 to 2015.

"Denmark is proud to have contributed to the development of Vietnamese literature for children through our 10 years of co-operation with Kim Dong Publishing House," Danish Ambassador Charlotte Laursen said at the award ceremony.

"Across cultural differences, we have found ways to make magical books, which talk directly to children and enable them to comprehend and understand all kind of topics and human situations."

Under the project, hundreds of interesting books and picture books have been published and distributed to children over the years. About 40 trips to 16 rural and remote provinces have been organised, giving children the opportunity to read books and discover the magic of reading.

Eight contests were launched during the past 10 years, receiving nearly 4,000 literary works, such as 216 picture books by amateur and professional artists.

Several Danish children's books by Soren Jessen, Tove Krebs Lange, Sally Altschuler and Birde Poulsen, besides Jan Kjaer Jensen and Merlin P Mann were translated into Vietnamese.

Books co-authored by Vietnamese and Danish writers were also published, such as Mot Chuyen Di (A Trip), Popo Tim Ban (Popo Finds Friend) and the Luc Buc Stories series.

"The children's book project is an amazing connection between Vietnamese and Danish writers and artists," Le Thi Dat, the project director, said.

"It is also an impressive connection between the creators and readers. This connection and its fruits will be continued by the Kim Dong House," Dat said.

The best seven books selected from more than 50 awarded books over the years were reprinted on the occasion of the end of the project. — VNS

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