Shenzhen’s Top 10 Children’s Books in China: Literature, Education, Picture Books

In News by Porter Anderson

The Shenzhen Reading Forum has issued their list of 10 most popular children’s books in China for 2017, as the children’s book sector in China continues to grow.

This year’s Shenzhen Top 10 is the fourth such annual selection

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The Shenzhen Top 10 for Children
No. 1 in the 2017 Shenzhen Top 10 for Children: 'Shuiyao Kakasha'

No. 1 in the 2017 Shenzhen Top 10 for Children: ‘Shuiyao Kakasha’

The annual Shenzhen Reading Forum has released its list of the top 10 most popular books for children in the Chinese market, divided into three categories: children’s literature, educational titles, and picture books.

The sales and market data for the list is provided by OpenBook which, along with Trajectory, supplies Publishing Perspectives with our monthly bestseller lists from the Chinese marketplace.

The top 10 children’s titles for 2017 were announced as part of the recently concluded Shenzhen Reading Month.

2017 Shenzhen Forum’s Top 10 Children’s Books

No. 2 in the 2017 Shenzhen Top 10 for Children: ‘The Wolf and the Strong Wind’

Children’s Literature

  • Shuiyao Kakasha, described as a gentle romance between little “Potato” and the water spirit “Kakasha”
  • The Wolf and the Strong Wind, about a small dog, Yima, growing up in the steppes to be a master runner, able to keep up with the wind in the forest
  • Doorway to Dreams, a collection of 58 imaginative poems by children’s literary writer Wang Lichun
  • The Red Pencil of Amira, a girl who finds that the gift of a red pencil strengthens her confidence and helps her in her own literary aspirations

‘The Color Monster,’ about various hues–and emotions

Educational Titles

  • Teaching Children Quantum Mechanics, in which examples of the science–and the stories of physicists–are made accessible through the use of examples from everyday life
  • Earth’s History, part of the “WallBook” series
  • The Color Monster, about a small creature whose colors–red, yellow, blue, green and black–help children identify emotions such as happiness, anger, and sadness 

‘The Fox and the Star’ is ‘about love and loneliness

Picture Books

  • Could I Not Go to School Today?  focuses on child psychology, stressing the power of reading and creativity
  • The Roadside Flowers is said to be a book that can “restore your innocence” and help you “rediscover beauty” with small elements of everyday life that can make you “feel love and being loved”
  • The Fox And The Star is described as “an allegory of love and loneliness, of getting and losing,” with a retro design full of compelling images

From a presentation at Frankfurter Buchmesse by OpenBook’s JIang Yanping on the dominance of the children’s sector in Chinese retail

Children’s Books in China

No. 4 of four in the Shenzhen children’s list for 2017 is about finding yourself in writing

Jiang Yanping, general manager and co-owner of OpenBook, gave a presentation on the Chinese market in October at Frankfurt Book Fair, in which she revealed that children’s books are the largest publishing sector in China, according to OpenBook data. In 2016, children’s books represented 23.51 percent of the overall retail market.

Only social science literature is seen as coming close in the company’s 2016 figures, at 23.09 percent, with educational in third place at 15.91 percent. (See the graphic from Jiang’s presentation above.)

In addition, OpenBook’s figures indicate that the children’s book sector in China showed by far the most growth, registering at 28.84 percent in 2016 over 2015.

On Wednesday, Publishing Perspectives will have our November bestsellers from China, both in the overall bestseller list and in bestsellers by non-Chinese authors.

OpenBook is a privately owned industry-data research firm based in Beijing. It functions somewhat as Nielsen and NDP do from the West, and Nielsen Book Research International has worked with OpenBook in Asian operations.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.