“The children went to school as usual, and read their books as usual, but the beautiful rise and fall of their voices as they read out loud got weaker and weaker until they were no longer capable of reading aloud,” reads one passage in the English translation by Helen Wang. “People were worried. They were sweating with anxiety. When the hunger was at its worst, they thought about gnawing on stones.”
That’s from Bronze and Sunflower, a venerated work of Chinese children’s literature by the newest Hans Christian Andersen award winner, Cao Wenxuan, in Amy Qin’s New York Times piece today, “Little Sugarcoating in Cao Wenxuan’s Children’s Books“. I’m really looking forward to seeing Candlewick’s US edition of this book, due out early next year. More about him and the book here.