Chinese Children Literatures Library
This e-book library is useful for children who study and use Chinese as a second language, especially for children their parents come from china. This library collects more than 6000 records of Chinese and other nation’s children literatures in Chinese, including Chinese fabulous stories, Chinese fairy tale, Chinese AFanTi jokes, Chinese Children literary works of recent fifty years, encyclopedic knowledge, children stories before sleep, Chinese primary scholar model compositions, Chinese children poetries, Chinese writer WeiSiLi’s collected edition of children fictions and other nation’s children stories.
In this article we consider historical and contemporary ideologies of childhood in China and critically examine notions of ‘child’ and ‘childhood’ in Chinese children’s literature. We analyse the themes and knowledge that relate to relevant historical and contemporary political events and policies, and how these contribute to the production of childhoods. We focus on three images of childhoods in China: the Confucian child, the Modern child and the Maoist child. Each of the images reflects a way of seeing, a perspective about what a child ought to be and become, and what their childhood should look like. Everyday media are reflected in the texts and stories examined and portray both ‘imagined’ and ‘real-life’ narratives of children and their childhoods. The stories, and the connected power relations, represent an important link between the politics of childhood and the pedagogy associated with these politics, including large-scale state investment in the production of desired, ideal and perfect childhoods. Through such an examination of contemporary and historical children’s literature and media in China we also explore the ways in which contemporary media revitalise particular notions of child agency.
You may need to consult a number of different catalogues to find items in our Chinese collection.
We are gradually transferring the contents of hard-copy catalogues into our online catalogues. Until the process is complete, readers should consult the catalogues below to find detailed descriptions of our Chinese holdings.
Printed books and periodicals
Two hard-copy catalogues of the Chinese language printed and periodical collections are available in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room:
- Microfiche Wade-Giles catalogue, which contains items acquired before 1966.
- Pinyin card catalogue, which contains items acquired after 1966.
The scanned copies of these catalogues are also available for download here:
Two of electronic catalogues contain more recent printed items:
- UK Union Catalogue of Chinese Books (updated until 2014).
- Explore the British Library, which also contains translations of Chinese material into western languages and western language works on China.
The union catalogue of Chinese rare books of the National Central Library (Taipei) lists our pre-1912 printed holdings.
What are the hidden messages in the storybooks we read to our kids?
That’s a question that may occur to parents as their children dive into the new books that arrived over the holidays.
And it’s a question that inspired a team of researchers to set up a study. Specifically, they wondered how the lessons varied from storybooks of one country to another.
For a taste of their findings, take a typical book in China: The Cat That Eats Letters.
Ostensibly it’s about a cat that has an appetite for sloppy letters — “written too large or too small, or if the letter is missing a stroke,” explains one of the researchers, psychologist Cecilia Cheung, a professor at University of California Riverside. “So the only way children can stop their letters from being eaten is to write really carefully and practice every day.”
But the underlying point is clear: “This is really instilling the idea of effort — that children have to learn to consistently practice in order to achieve a certain level,” says Cheung. And that idea, she says, is a core tenet of Chinese culture.
The book is one of dozens of storybooks from a list recommended by the education agencies of China, the United States and Mexico that Cheung and her collaborators analyzed for the study.
They created a list of “learning-related” values and checked to see how often the books promoted them. The values included setting a goal to achieve something difficult, putting in a lot effort to complete the task and generally viewing intelligence as a trait that can be acquired through hard work rather than a quality that you’re born with.
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