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  • Meat-Loving Cheetah or Gentle House Cat?
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Chen Ying-Hui ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    One of the most interesting parts of picture books are the clues and messages that arise in the moments when the text and illustrations seem to spar with one another. 

    Readers are often taken aback by the combination of the cover illustration and the title Cheetah 57 scrawled across the image in large letters. The animal in the image is clearly a cheetah but it’s difficult for us to reconcile his chubby body, his innocently wide eyes and his docile stance lounging on a giant piece of meat with our standard image of a cheetah. What exactly does this so-called cheetah look like?

    Our preconceived notions often affect our judgement. As expected, Cheetah 57 is swayed by peer pressure to look more like a typical cheetah and he embarks on a sinister plot reminiscent of “Aunt Tiger” (a Taiwanese legend similar to “Little Red Riding Hood” that features a tiger who disguises himself as an aunt in an attempt to eat three children). Illustrator Fu Hsinyi uses a dull green color to show that if Cheetah 57 can’t live up to these expectations then this might be “the end” for him and shows the cheetah looking heavy and out of breath. After this, Cheetah 57 starts to exercise and practice howling. For these scenes, Fu has a few small, bright illustrations which show Cheetah 57’s determination but in the end he’s shown helplessly giving in to the huge black shadow on the wall and choosing to hide. Seeing him crying in the corner, you can’t help but feel sad about everything that’s happened so far in the book. Surely it can’t be so important to look like a cheetah that he’d shed this many tears over it?  

     

     

    He starts to dig a tunnel but is shocked when he ends up out in broad daylight and two children think he’s the son of a large Bengal cat. The image is from Cheetah 57’s perspective so we see the innocence in the children’s eyes as they’re filled with surprise. He spends the day living among humans and feels the kind of warmth he has never had the chance to experience before. The little boy tries to drag Cheetah 57 around in an upturned umbrella and his older sister persuades their parents to be thrilled about it all, then they tell stories together, they give Cheetah 57 a bath, and he even eats cat food!

    Then the story turns to another challenge: deception. Cheetah 57 senses that his human friends feel like he is family to them and this is something he craves so he pretends to be what he hopes they will like. However, he also worries that one day they will discover that he doesn’t just look like a cheetah but actually is one, and then he’ll have to deal with the unimaginable consequences. Those deep-rooted fears push against his longing to be looked after by his human friends, so he lives in fear of being exposed. The projected stereotypes and various threats, meaningful or otherwise, gnaw away at his self-confidence and leave him feeling panic-stricken like he’s walking a tightrope.

    No one could have guessed that being exposed would actually turn out to be a liberating moment for him. The siblings look at their Bengal cat and realize that he’s actually Cheetah 57. The incident makes the news and the public feel a lot of love for this cheetah who looks like a big cat, so by the end of the story he has thousands of fans! It turns out that his distinctive “look” means that he can be both: he can eat a lot of meat and be a gentle house cat, it’s these differences that make him multifaceted and full of surprises. Even though the children decide that they can’t tell their parents, maybe we as readers can try to be the kind of adults where if we found out that our new cat was actually a cheetah we could still appreciate him all the same, then give him a piece of meat. The unique American-style illustrations feature flexible, unrestrained lines that hint at the possibility of freedom for Cheetah 57 and the kind of brilliance that arises when you dismantle limiting framework.

     

     

    Read more:
    - Tina Kuo: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=364
    - Fu Hsinyi: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=365
    - Cheetah 57: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=379

  • An Interview with the Creators of I DON’T WANT TO EAT BROCCOLI
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Kang Hsuan, Sui Ri, Hsueh Hui-Yin ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Publisher: Kang Hsuan

    Q: What was the collaboration process like for the author and illustrator? Did the story come first and then an illustrator was asked to draw the images, or did the two of them create the book together?

    A: You could actually say that there were three parties involved in the creation of this book. Almost every year, Kang Hsuan puts out a call for picture book submissions and our team votes on the winning story. After I Don’t Want to Eat Broccoli won the prize, our editor discussed various modifications to the story with the author before inviting suitable illustrators to draft artwork for the book. An early editorial suggestion was that the illustrator should use photographs of different types of broccoli to create a collage. However, when the illustrator tried to use photographs for the entire book she was filled with a slight sense of horror, so instead she revised the brief and decided to use other materials to create the images. This added a degree of playfulness to the story and the end result was an extraordinary book that encapsulates a very personal illustration style. Our editor helped coordinate the author’s and illustrator’s ideas right up until the end when the book was finally complete. By tying together the author’s story, the illustrator’s creativity and the editor’s professionalism, the three of them were able to produce a truly wonderful picture book.

     

     

    Q: Can you share the unusual story of how you chose the cover design?

    A: The illustrator designed two covers and our editors found it difficult to choose which one to use, so on a whim we decided to conduct a poll on Kang Hsuan’s Facebook page to let readers vote on it. To our surprise, one of the covers won by an overwhelming majority and that is the cover we ended up using.

     

    Author: Sui Ri

    Q: Do you like broccoli? Why did you want to create a story about not eating broccoli?

    A: I didn’t like broccoli until I was an adult. When you consider it on a visual level, broccoli’s appearance is quite unusual in the vegetable world. On several occasions when I had no choice but to eat it, I wondered whether it was the heads or the stalks of the broccoli that I disliked so much. I think it’s alright to be picky about food to a certain degree, but every now and then I feel it’s good to be flexible and give these foods another try. Maybe one day you’ll suddenly find it tastes okay.

     

    Q: In the book, the mother gets the child to chop up the broccoli by making it into a game where the child is a barber giving the broccoli a haircut. Where did the inspiration for this come from?

    A: It’s always easier to do eat food you don’t like in small mouthfuls, and making it into a game is a great way to divert a child’s attention.

     

    Q: Did you encounter anything interesting during the creative process? Or anything frustrating?

    A: The evening I sat down to edit the pages, I ate my favorite pizza and was in a pretty good mood. The illustrations hadn’t been done at that point so I imagined what the images would look like and that was the basis for separating the text into pages. It felt relaxing to split it into paragraphs and then have the words leap to the next page. I’m also used to dividing up paragraphs when I write novels and screenplays, but when you’re cutting between scenes in picture books there needs to be a concise, nimble rhythm to it. After readers finish the last line of a page, they can flip to the next page and experience a whole new atmosphere. When I’m writing novels and screenplays with big overarching structures, I occasionally find myself wishing that I could turn the page in the same brisk, straightforward way I can with a picture book. Lastly, I also felt extremely grateful when the editor sent me the vivid images that the illustrator had created.

     

    Illustrator: Hsueh Hui-Yin

    Q: What were your thoughts on reading the story? Do you worry about picky eaters too?

    A: It’s a lovely story about parent-child interactions and as I was reading I immediately saw the scenes unfold in my mind. Although I can be picky about food, I still quite like broccoli.

     

    Q: The book presents broccoli in all kinds of different ways, why did you design it like this? And which broccoli is your favorite?

    A: There are some spreads in the book where broccoli fills the entire page, so the editor suggested that I use a range of source materials (physical objects, collages, drawings) to portray the broccoli and give it a richer appearance. My favorite is the broccoli where I used bubble wrap to create the pattern of the florets.

     

     

    Read more:
    - Sui Ri: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=363
    - Hsueh Hui-Yin: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=330
    - I Don't Want to Eat Broccoli: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=378

  • Notes from a Fishing Village Residency
    Dec 17, 2021 / By HOM ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Before I had the chance to visit the Zhengbin Fishing Harbor, I was quite unfamiliar with Keelung and like most people I just held the preconceived notion that it was an “overcast, rainy mountain town”. When I came here in mid-May, I left Keelung Station and saw several black kites circling overhead in the gloomy gray sky which matched the image of the place in my mind. The misty, overcast sky continued for about a week and then the weather gradually turned, becoming more summery as the sky over the harbor steadily turned to blue. The veil of my initial impression of Keelung lifted and the harbor’s beautiful scenery appeared before me.

    During the month I lived in the village, I often walked to the harbor. It was a small, secluded space where fishermen gathered. I quietly looked out at the dark green sea and followed the path beside the harbor before coming to the colorful buildings now known as the “Rainbow Houses”. I frowned, I didn’t really like bright colors. Later when I searched online, I found some old photos of the harbor and saw that the Rainbow Houses had previously been a row of buildings that alternated between white and light blue in a way that was simple but elegant. As well as feeling it was a shame, I began to use my own perception of beauty to size up these heavily-painted buildings. Pretty much every day, there were tourists who came to the Rainbow Houses specifically to take photos and you could even see newlyweds doing wedding photoshoots. Clearly the Rainbow Houses were a powerful form of publicity and had already become important to the local area.

     

     

    As I passed the Rainbow Houses every day, I looked at them from the same angle as all the tourists taking photos. The colors reflected on the water and the light of the sky varied at different times of the day, together they magically transformed the surface of the water and every day I took lots of photos of the harbor. The sky, whether it was blue, violet, pink, or gray, embellished the colors of the Rainbow Houses and made them feel even more fleeting and ever-changing. I don’t know when it started but my gaze gradually became drawn to them.

     After carefully thinking it through, I realized it didn’t have anything to do with the colors of the houses but rather that the history and geography of Zhengbin Fishing Harbor were what gave the place its charming retro appearance and made the scenery what it is today.

    This residency has given me the chance to get to know more places in Taiwan. Thank you very much to the team at Zhengbin Art for inviting me to the residency, it gave me plenty of time to discover so much of the fascinating scenery that Zhengbin Fishing Harbor has to offer.   

     

     

    Read more:
    - HOM: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=151
    - Watching the Sea: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=377

  • As Deep as the Ocean
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Sung Pei ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    A vast expanse of blue-green water unfurls in front of you as if lit from behind, enveloping you in a fantasy-like atmosphere where fish large and small swim beside you and come up close to meet you.…

    The pictures in A Place Like the Sea evoked memories of the dazzling and unforgettable experience I had the first time I entered an aquarium. The pictures don’t just portray the underwater world separated by a curtain of glass, but also the penguin exhibit and the theater where the dolphins perform. These small human-made oceans are teaming with marine life, some of the species were moved here while others were raised within its walls, all to be exhibited before our very eyes.

     

     

    Lin Po-Ting uses a drawing technique that makes his illustrations feel reminiscent of printmaking, he draws silhouette-like figures whose black outlines contrast with the dappled light of the brightly colored seawater, creating a unique atmosphere in the space. The book is filled with illustrated double-page spreads which feel like movie screens, they have an immediate emotional impact and go far beyond what the text describes. There are very few words in the book and they are only used to state the boy’s inner thoughts. When the boy walks into the huge aquarium with his parents, we see his initial amazement and curiosity turn to fear and then panic as he gets separated from his family, then the nervousness and anticipation that set in when he’s on his own. These various emotions form the content of the text.

    The first-person narrative mostly conveys they boy’s subjective experience, while the illustrations usually take an omniscient perspective to objectively depict the environment around him. Sometimes the words and illustrations are not completely consistent, and at times even go so far as to contradict one another, which lets the reader discover another layer of hidden meanings in these small gaps and contradictions. There are also places where there aren’t any contradictions but the text and illustrations create a play on words, where the text is describing the boy’s subjective experience but at the same time is also conveying the thoughts of other characters in the pictures.

    A Place Like the Sea uses these puns between the text and illustrations to cleverly tie the characters and setting to the marine life as the young boy’s inner thoughts and feelings can become those of the aquatic creatures themselves. By expressing their situation from the boy’s perspective, the book prompts readers to think about it from the creatures’ point of view and raises the question: Do aquariums force marine animals to leave their homes forever?

    Moreover, comparing the front and back endpapers raises an additional question: If we take the sea creatures who have lived in captivity and return them to their natural habitats, will they even still be able to live in an ocean which has been so heavily polluted by humans? What a profound question for the author to hide in amongst the book’s beautiful illustrations and missing-child plot! 

     

     

    Read more:
    - Lin Po-Ting: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=256
    - A Place Like the Sea: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=376

  • Exploring the Depths of Taiwan’s Forests
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Every single one of us has our own set of skills, no matter how big or small we might be.

    Award-winning author-illustrator Chang Che-ming’s picture book series The Three Little Moles uses exquisite hand-painted watercolors to bring the magic of Taiwan’s forests to life and tell the story of two young moles as they discover the world with the help of their knowledgeable grandfather.

    The first book in the series, A Special Gift, sees the three protagonists set out from their cosy home in a tunnel beneath a tree stump and encounter a mother duck whose baby is stuck in a deep, well-like hole. The three moles use their digging skills to make a tunnel and rescue the duckling. The mother duck is thrilled and later returns the favor by rescuing the moles from a huge fish while they’re crossing a river on a raft.

    The second two books, Let’s Roast Sweet Potatoes and Adventure in the Forest, build on the themes of the first story but can be read as standalone books as well. The three moles use their digging skills to unearth some delicious sweet potatoes only to find that as they pull the roots from below, a family of chipmunks is pulling the potatoes up from above! The moles use a kiln to roast the sweet potatoes and the chipmunks declare that the potatoes are absolutely delicious, so the moles offer to teach the chipmunks how to roast them. Adventure in the Forest sees the three moles go out in the fog and stumble across two baby birds and an egg. An owl swoops overhead preying on the moles and baby birds, so the moles quickly dig a hole for them all to hide in. The egg hatches while they’re in the hole and then the birds’ parents arrive, a pair of beautiful Mikado pheasants (the unofficial national bird of Taiwan).

     

     

    All three books have the same fundamental themes of self-affirmation, learning from ones’ elders and the importance of sharing. The moles expressive faces and gestures create a focal point against the beautifully rendered forest landscapes in the background. Most of the illustrations are sweeping double-page spreads that capture the scale of the forest and the tininess of the protagonists, although occasionally the pages are divided into smaller scenes which work especially well when the moles are hiding underground with the baby birds while the owl flies overhead. Chang’s delicate use of watercolors and fine brush strokes gives the illustrations a timelessness which still feels fresh and original. Captivatingly depicting Taiwan’s local culture and customs is a priority for Chang, as seen in his previous works Food Market and Night Market, and it’s a joy to see him apply a new blend of scale and attention to detail in his portrayal of Taiwan’s flora and fauna in The Three Little Moles.

    Set against the backdrop of Taiwan’s deep mountain forests, The Three Little Moles is a series about universal values that already feels like a classic.

     

     

    Read more:
    - Chang Che-ming: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=362
    - The Three Little Moles Series: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=375

     

  • The Inspiration Behind SOMBRITA
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Lee Jo-Shin ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Where did the inspiration for the story come from? Is it based on personal experience?

    The initial inspiration for Sombrita came from a true story about a friend’s child. One summer, they accidentally ended up raising a stag beetle and, as a friend of the father, I was there to see the child confront the reality of death for the first time. The child’s calm and collected response made it feel like they had their own way of dealing with it even though they’d never had this experience before.

    After we talked it over, I felt that the whole thing had been an interesting experience in itself and I found the delicate emotions at play deeply moving. Some scenes appeared in my mind and I hoped that I could develop them into a picture book. To create the story for Sombrita, I linked the incident with some of my own childhood memories of our family home in the mountains where my brother and I would play games together on the steep terraced fields.

     

    Why did you choose to make the protagonist a stag beetle rather than a cat or a dog, or maybe another animal that humans encounter more often in the modern world?

    I envisioned the scenes from the book taking place in the mountains and forests, but most pets today are kept at home which is far from the natural world of plants and external environments that I wanted to portray in the story. I hoped it would feel like leaving the city behind. Thus, I didn’t give much consideration to replacing the stag beetle with another animal. Part of me also hoped that I could encourage children to understand and care about animals other than cats and dogs. However, once the book was published I got some feedback from readers who said that the book reminded them of their own relationships with their dogs or other pets and it made me really happy to hear them share these feelings.

     

    What is the significance of the “dad” character in the story?

    After I started creating picture books, I often heard people mention that most of the adult characters in children’s books were mothers, and a lot of fathers really felt that disparity when they were reading books aloud to their children. I didn’t have a set stance on it when I was writing the story and I believed that whether the parent was a mother or a father wouldn’t have an effect on the development of the plot. Given the vast number of picture books in the world, I thought perhaps it would be good to give fathers a chance to see themselves in a picture book as they read it aloud.

     

     

    Which is your favorite illustration in the book? 

    Personally, I really like the page where the young protagonist is surrounded by various plants, insects and butterflies. It was a deep memory from childhood when I was very young and instantly felt the atmospheric rhythm of nature, the tranquillity felt wonderous to me as a child from the city and I tried to capture this feeling in the illustration.

    When I was playing tag in the mountain field terraces that had been left to lie fallow, I noticed all sorts of creatures and sometimes I came across tadpoles or strange insects in the small pools of water. I remember one time just as I was about to jump over a ridge between the fields, I discovered a fat green caterpillar happily munching away on some leaves about ten centimetres in front of me. I had no choice but to hold onto that fear and it was only after I leapt steadily over the ridge that the feeling started to ferment within me.

     

     

    Read more:
    - Lee Jo-Shin: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=361
    - Sombrita: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=374

  • Finding Friendship in Dance
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Chang Ting-Yu ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    I came up with the story for Fred and Ginger during graduate school when I met my roommate from South America. She was from a country whose cultural background was completely different from Taiwan’s: Colombia. Her love of dance and her uninhibited personality were a huge culture shock for me at the time. We clearly had different ways of life and personal preferences, but we also had a lot of incidents involving cultural differences while we shared a room together but of course a certain amount of disagreement is inevitable. Colombia is the birthplace of salsa and my roommate had always loved dancing since she was small, she introduced me to so many Latin dances and it was a totally new life experience for someone like me who had no background in dance. This was why I chose to use dance as a subject to bring out the friendship between the two characters. 

    The story was initially conceived in English, so when I was naming the characters I researched famous dancers from history and came across two celebrities who had been renowned dance partners during the 1930s and 40s: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. By chance, the English word for an orange cat is “ginger”, so I decided there and then to call the two characters “Fred” and “Ginger”. However, the hardest part was choosing a title for the book, it was a huge challenge for me as a someone who is not a native English speaker. I considered so many dance-related titles but none of them were quite right, until I gave a talk at the end of term and mentioned the concept behind naming “Fred” and “Ginger”. Various teachers and classmates who had grown up in the West immediately picked up on the names and the dance connection, then they went on to suggest that there couldn’t be a more fitting title for the book than Fred and Ginger. I decided on that for the title, and when it came to translating it into Chinese I made the names more local and decided that instead of directly translating the English names, I would use the homophones “fu” (meaning “luck”) for Fred and “jin” (meaning “gold”) for Ginger.

     

     

    Also, the dance studio that appears in the story is called “Dansa” which combines the English word “dance” with “casa”, the Spanish word for home. The general idea is: as long as you like to dance, this is your home! 

    Lastly, what I really want to say is that in a lot of cases the end result isn’t the most important thing. What matters most is how we feel during the process and I hope that during these difficult times we can all cherish one another because there’s really nothing more important than each other’s company.  

     

     

    Read more:
    - Chang Ting-Yu: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=360
    - Fred and Ginger: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=373

  • When Life and Art Intertwine
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Chang Shu-Chiung ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    It is clear from Liu Ching-Yen’s previous works that he has a specific fondness for character-driven narratives, which he says derives from his background in journalism. Interviewing people and finding out their stories was a daily exercise for Liu as a reporter and he developed a particular passion for human-interest stories.

     

    A Boy as the Black Swan

    Liu based the story of I Am the Black Swan on three people he had encountered. The first was a teenaged boy he met in church who was dancing one of the lead roles in his high school’s production of Swan Lake. Next was a young girl who Liu met while hosting his children’s TV show My Reading Bakery. She studied ballet and her passion for dance was immediately evident in every moment of her life. Lastly, during his university days Liu had interviewed the famous Taiwanese dancer and choreographer Lin Hwai-min, as well as Lin’s roommate at the time who’d said: “If you see someone leaping instead of walking down the street, that’s Lin Hwai-min.”

    Thus, Liu tied the figure of Lin Hwai-min together with the story of the boy who danced the Black Swan and the little girl who loved to dance so much she skipped across the street, to create a narrative about gender roles, pursuing your dreams and how art merges with life.

     

    Connecting with the Stirring Topic of Gender

    When she first read I Am the Black Swan, illustrator Chang Pei-Yu said she was immediately drawn to the part on gender roles. She remembered her own childhood experience of being forced to use a pink schoolbag even though she really liked the color blue. Later, when she studied early German literature at university, she realized that the field was solely occupied by male writers. In I Am the Black Swan, she was particularly interested in Amin’s character and was extremely curious about how gender roles would be handled in a children’s book.

     

     

    Naturally Curly Hair and a Red Dance Costume

    When Chang contemplated how to lay the groundwork for Amin as a character, she kept debating whether to emphasize his artistic nature and make him stand out from the crowd, or to depict him as an ordinary child. She also felt that Amin’s slight rebelliousness and stubborn perseverance were typical childhood traits. In the end, she decided to do a combination of the two: she gave Amin naturally conspicuous curly hair but a very simple dance costume to show the side of him that is just an ordinary child.

    However, when it came to the color of his clothes, Chang decided to use bright red to represent Amin’s inner-life and to show his strength. This red appears constantly throughout the illustrations and is crucial to the book. Finally, Chang decided to use a combination of colored pencils and collage which she hoped would convey the effortless feeling of agility that comes with dancing.

     

    Chang and Liu’s Key Hopes for the Reader

    Chang says she hopes readers will enjoy the simple pleasure of the illustrations and that children will get a sense of the more relaxed, happy side of art. She hopes that the dynamic artwork will let children experience the movement and rhythm of dance and gain a sense of its beauty.

    Liu hopes that children can understand: “No matter what your parents demand that you learn, the most important thing is that you know whether or not you like it, because you are going to need passion if you want to master it. You can do anything you want regardless of gender, but you must embrace it and pursue it with a burning passion.”

     

     

    Read more:
    - Liu Ching-Yen: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=30
    - Chang Pei-Yu: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=359
    - I Am the Black Swan: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=372

  • The Birth of A MILLION KISSES
    Dec 17, 2021 / By Chen Shu-Ting & Deer Jan ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Love from Parents (Author)

    From the day after my son was born, I discovered one key thing: The happy days we have now will always fly by but it’s such a busy time that we don’t get to feel much of it, until one day we look back and discover that there is no way for us to do it all again.

    I have watched my child grow taller each day as his body gradually lost its roundness. He is less dependent on me today than he was yesterday, and tomorrow he will be even less dependent still. Where I once enjoyed the sweetness of taking care of him as a newborn baby, in the last few years I have started to worry that I am always one day closer to the time he will eventually let go of my hand.

     

     

    The most common mood I’ve felt since becoming a mother is a mixture of irritability and guilt. I feel tired of doting on my son and I wish he would give me a bit more time to myself, but sometimes I’m elated by how much he clings to me. Now and then, he’ll sense my impatience and conflicting feelings. He will try and please me by asking whether he’s been well-behaved and I will repeatedly reassure him that I love him so much, regardless of whether he’s been good or not. No matter how many times I say it he never seems to be completely convinced, just as I secretly doubt whether I am the center of his world in the same way I was during those pre-school days. In the end it doesn’t really matter, we still love each other very much.

    This is how A Million Kisses came into being. When my son was born, he was so soft with that sweet newborn baby smell and I couldn’t bear to leave him even for a minute. Every time I picked him up I would kiss him. In the years that followed, I would just hold him close and kiss him when he threw afternoon tantrums or couldn’t sleep late at night, when he fell down or was angry at something. Even now, he’s in primary school and I still often hold my arms out wide for a hug and give him a kiss.

    I hope I hold fast to the beautiful memories I have of this time. Every morning, when I see him come out of his bedroom bleary-eyed and just waking up, I immediately get ready to give him a hug and a kiss. I know that an entire day spent together is about to begin and that we’ll never have these days again.

     

    A Happy Time for You and Me (Illustrator)

    When illustrating this story, I struggled with the ending for a long time.

    When exactly is the one millionth kiss?

    Is it when your child gets married? Or when they have children of their own?

    Or is it when they leave and say goodbye?

    I believe that you should always treat “right now” as the final moment to love with all your strength.

    Not a single moment should be missed!

    This is my interpretation of A Million Kisses.

    Thank you for this story that reminded me how I grew up surrounded by love.

    And I hope that this book will make readers feel a little bit of that same warmth.

     

     

    Read more:
    - Chen Shu-Ting: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=357
    - Deer Jan: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=358
    - A Million Kisses: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=371