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Inspired by International Book Exhibition, KPL Holds Event for Two International Picture Book Authors to Share About Creative Process

【Reported from Kaohsiung】 Following the success of the Taipei International Book Exhibition, Southern Taiwan became promptly engulfed in a wave of desire for books and reading. On February 24, Kaohsiung Public Library (KPL) and Gleaner Books joined hands to hold two speeches on international picture books at Kaohsiung Public Library. Canadian picture book author Sydney Smith and his Hong Kong counterpart Joanne Liu were invited to speak at the events, allowing readers at Kaohsiung to immerse themselves in the joys of reading and granting them the opportunity to hear about the creative process of the authors’ new works, namely My Baba’s Garden, Do You Remember?, and My Rainy Day.

The formation of the events could be traced back to Dino Tseng and his enthusiasm. Tseng, who works as the Editor-in-Chief at Gleaner Books, was a participant during the press conference held for the Second KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards in 2022, which left him with a good impression of the KPL’s International Picture Book Center and picture books from Southern Taiwan. Tseng then connected his experience with the sharing activities, opening the doors for sharing resources between Northern and Southern Taiwan, building a bridge founded on a love for books and reading.

According to Acting Director Lin Yi-Cheng, KPL’s International Picture Book Center boasts a collection of picture books from 43 nations in 27 different languages, making it the largest picture book center in Taiwan. This year, the opportunity to collaborate with a publishing agency enabled KPL to welcome international authors to Asia New Bay Area. Such a series of fortune has allowed KPL to gather even more people with a passion for reading, transforming it into a crucial platform where book lovers could interact and share.

Hong Kong native Joanne Liu kickstarted the events with her speech in the morning. Liu received a BolognaRagazzi Award on Art – Architecture & Design for her work My Museum in 2018 and the BolognaRagazzi Winner Illustrator Award for her other work, Sleeping Rainbow, in 2022. Full of talent for creation, Liu brought the first batch of prints for her newest picture book, My Rainy Day, which she also spoke about during the speech. The book is full of heartfelt illustrations, and despite not containing a single word, the pictures inside were enough to encapsulate the intricacies of relationships between people. During the book signing session, readers at the scene expressed their sentiments towards the work with Liu. While reading the book, they were able to connect with its message: that even inconvenient rainy days would be able to bear the most interesting of events as long as one is willing to open one's eyes and heart.

Later on, Canadian picture book author Sydney Smith gave an illuminating talk during the afternoon session. Aside from having a rich experience in collaborating with famous picture book authors, Smith has published numerous children’s books that have won him awards and the hearts of many readers. Publishers Weekly, the New York Times, and the New York Public Library had all placed his works in their lists of Best Illustrated works. Not only that, Smith is also a recipient of a Kate Greenaway Medal, signifying that his talent and creations have received great international acknowledgment.

Aside from introducing two of his new books, My Baba’s Garden and Do You Remember? Smith also delved into an in-depth sharing of his creative process during the event. This allowed the participating audience to learn more about his work. Among the audience was Miss Han, who is currently pursuing a creative career. “The talk given by an international picture book author today not only allowed me to learn from their rich experiences but also to hear about the ideas that creators from all over the world,” she remarked. “Some of those ideas collide with my own, probably because we all come from different countries and cultures, but I think it’s a brilliant inspiration for my works.”

Gleaner Books has always adhered to its ideal for reading, bringing works of new ideas and beauty to readers in Taiwan. Many of the books published under its banner receive various awards, with remarkable results that are evidence of Gleaner Books’ ability to select unique works. This time, through cooperation with KPL, Gleaner Books successfully invited Sydney Smith and Joanne Liu to give talks at the events on international books held in Taiwan, allowing more people to learn and fall in love with picture books.

KPL also holds a book exhibition related to the International Picture Book Center events. Readers interested in the works of Sydney Smith and Joanne Liu are welcome to visit the International Picture Book Center of the Kaohsiung Main Public Library to peruse the picture books of the two authors mentioned above before March 10. Visitors may take the opportunity to walk the path of nostalgia, and those interested in picture books may take the chance to immerse themselves in the immeasurable charisma of the international picture book authors.



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Updated2024-03-20 AM 11:09:36