Jia Alhua

Speaking Time and Room No.: 2006-9-23 8:30-10:30 Room III

Speaker: Jia Aihua (China)

Children’s Literature in Multimedia Age for Children and Mothers


Honorable guests,

As a worker for children’s cause in China, if I must position myself, I think I’m a professional mother. I started to play this role when I was nearly 30. The surprise and pleasure from my son could be understood by all parents. Actually, I want to say that he has given me a second life. He has taught me how to be brave, tolerant, and firm! When I presented this speech to him who is already in his fifth grade in primary school, he suggested me to add “humor” and I was sincerely convinced.

When I just took the post, my dear son gave me so many difficulties. He would cry and refuse to take the vegetable I cooked with pains. He wouldn’t cooperate, but rebel at the physical examination hospital. He would damage his nice little bed without hesitation, as he wanted to sleep with me and his father. Facing his grievance and dissatisfaction, I didn’t know what’s wrong with my behaviors following professional cultivation manual.

One day, when I accompanied him to watch TV, a child on the screen gave his wounded little dog a passionate hug. My over-two-year-old son suddenly staggered to me and gave a passionate hug to me who accompanied him to watch TV absent-mindedly. I was totally stunned as he would open him arms to me only when he wanted my hug. He hugged me with all his strength and even used his fat little hands to pat my back, just as I comforted him when he was weeping. Then, he seriously came back to his seat to watch TV continuously.

At that time, I was pursuing my second study: I entered into the master’s class for further study in the highest learning institute of film in China: Beijing Film Academy. My educational background prior to this was Bachelor of Arts, and I had acquired literary works award granted by authoritative organ a few years ago. Frankly speaking, children’s literature is not the direction of my career. I am a playwright having receiving professional training and possessing tangible achievement in creation. However, when I saw the influence of TV drama on my son at that moment, I decided to write stories for my son which he could accept. So, since the birth of my son, I changed my work from writing growth diaries to writing stories. He was born in the year of pig on China’s lunar calendar. My fat baby was so cute, so I decided to use piggy as the hero in my fairy tales without hesitation. Most of the young parents in China only have one child for each family. In retrospect of my happy childhood with so many little friends, my son in my stories has one elder sister and one elder brother. Miracle was created! My son was cultivated by my stories. He changed his partiality for a particular kind of food in a short time; affected by the stories, he was not timid any more and glad to communicate with others… I realized that this is the best shortcut for a mother to enter into the heart of her child. Both my son and I were satisfied and happy.

In my son’s kindergarten, his teacher required: contribute these stories to the little friends in the whole class. So, my piggy stories became that for a group of children, and which has reached to 100 in sum. At that time, my son was a 4-year-old eloquent handsome young boy, and his most obvious feature was confidence! Because of those piggy stories accompanying his growth, he could always avoid the same mistakes in time. In each growth stage, I reflected the dreadful consequences of some mistakes in the stories, and he was smart enough to avoid the mistakes and felt somewhat complacent.

At that time, I was already at the high level of China’s fourth largest film sector(????), and the convenience in film work made me intend to change the text which had been for one child into something which was to be shared by the children in the world. So in 2001, under the support and coordination of my families and many social institutions, by relying on the advent of multimedia age, I made cartoons from the children’s literature writing which had no ambition at the beginning.

At present, the first series “Love Manor” containing 62 sets of cartoons, which are about 1,200 minutes, have been played in China’s TV stations. This (show the picture book) is the picture book of the same name published by Shenzhen Haitian Publishing House on January 1, 2006. This children’s cultivation project defined by me as “Baby in Q City” is made up of 1,000 sets, and each story is followed by an auxiliary part containing three units: one is “Intimate Aunt” which acts as a mother helping the children digest and recognize the truth in the story by explaining the profound things in a simple way; one is “Baby Q Dictionary” which acts as a little pal and would explain the events in the story from the perspective and in the language of children; the last is dynamic “Q Dancing Troupe” which makes children dance after sitting and watching TV for a long time.

In my heart, “Q City” is a dustless fairyland as the beginning of one’s life. I hope to build up a channel by love, text, and pictures, so that mother, father and child could enter into the pure land in each other’s heart freely. In the meantime, I hope “Q City” can become a TV program which children in the whole world could delightedly enjoy, and parents could read and watch with smile. Thank God! Finally I’m coming to the subject of this forum “Children’s Literature and Multimedia Age”. (Smile) If I’m bold enough to say something about this subject which only experts are qualified to say, I’d like to say: children’s literature demonstrates bolder colors and imaginations in the multimedia age. By means of the connection of scenes in TV and film as well as the acoustic effect, an aesthetic and perfect world of children’s reading materials with better three-dimensional and true-to-life effect is created!

If I’m allowed, I’d like to use another mother-and-son story to conclude my speech—at sunset, they’re walking hand in hand to home:

Son: Mom, let me tell you a joke, ok?

Mother: I will not laugh if your joke is not laughable, ok? My dear!

Son: Very laughable.

The mother put on a reluctant smile on her weary face and looked at her son with encouraging eyes.

Son: When a child got home, he saw smoke in the toilet. He came up to see, his father was smoking on closestool. Isn’t it laughable, mom?

Mother: Listen to mom: Shuaishuai was thirsty after he got home. So he poured a glass of water. Suddenly he found smoke from the toilet. He hurried up to pour his water into the toilet, but a yell was heard: hey, boy, what are you doing?! It was your father smoking in the toilet.

The son immediately said with anxiety: Mom, mom, listen to me…

The child changed a cup of water into a barrel of water, and even showed his fantastic idea: fire fighters exerted their utmost strength to flush with fire hose. After a while, my dad floated out…

At sunset, the mother, who once taught eight years in university, watched her son with surprise—the son was so excited that his little face blushed.

The story happened in the summer of 2001 and was about my 6-year-old son and me. Since then, the language relay habit remained till now. In fact, children’s literature is children’s world. If its wings are endowed by imagination, happiness and love make up its air, and we adults may be the soil. We may make painstaking efforts to create soil for children and guide them, in this way we could be gratified.

I devote this speech to everybody who has ever enjoyed her or his childhood!

Thank you!