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In picture books, bears show kids how to grow up

Updated: 2016-07-07 15:22
By Yang Yang (chinadaily.com.cn)

In picture books, bears show kids how to grow up

Book cover of The Bear's School. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Children's Fun Publishing Co has recently introduced a Japanese picture book series, The Bear's School, into China.

The Bear's School features the growing-up stories of 12 bears. Since the first book was published in Japan in 2002, writer Hiroyuki Aihara and illustrator Nami Adachi have completed 14 books of the series.

In the last 15 years, more than 2.1 million copies of the books have been sold, and more than 3,000 various kinds of products have been created based on the series.

Aihara said that he created the stories of bears because more than 15 years ago, when he went to kindergarten to pick up his daughter, he found that many kids, whose heads appeared bigger compared with their small bodies and whose bellies stuck out, looked like bears that he loved.

Hearing that Chinese kids are very busy with study, he said that apart from study, learning about happiness in life is also very important.

The books, complemented with the elegant language of watercolor painting, describe the lives of the 12 bears as they grow up. A female bear named Jackie is particularly compelling: Jackie is kind, clever and full of curiosity — and occasionally headstrong.

The stories are very warm, humorous and touching; they illustrate the Japanese conception of early childhood education, trying to nurture children to be independent.

Infant educator Liu Leqiong said that The Bear's School is about children working hard to achieve their dreams, which is very important to parents and teachers.

"Every child strives to grow up, which deserves grown-ups' respect," Liu said.


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