Help the World Understand China, the 34th Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Awards Announced Online

On the afternoon of December 26, 2022, the 34th Chen Bochui International Children's Literature Award (CICLA) Ceremony took place online as scheduled. This year, the organizers made explorations in expanding the brand publicity and influence through a number of measures.

Attracting a record-high number of works to compete for this Award

This year, the organizers further improved the awarding mechanism and optimized the award categories. It invited authoritative experts, scholars and professionals to form an extensive and professional jury and introduced a new professional team to implement the submission campaign and evaluation of works; expanded the scope of call for entry to Chinese children's literature published in the areas of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and the countries of Singapore and Malaysia; added the award of Emerging Author of Chinese Writing to better reflect the "gardener" spirit advocated by Mr. Chen and extensively discover and cultivate new creators and works; renamed the original two annual work awards as the Best Literary Work and the Best Picture Book to more accurately reflect their emphasis on excellent works; included contributions for the selection of Best Literary Work.

A total of 1,149 works (or pieces) were solicited for this year's CICLA. The number doubled from last year and records were made  since the founding of the CICLA in terms of social influence, individual participation, and the number of contributed works. Among the entries competing for the Best Literary Work are excellent novels, short stories, coming-of-age novels that express current realistic themes, historical novels that explore historical themes, realistic novels, fantasy novels, science fictions and even informative and entertaining prose. The entries for the Best Picture Book covers works of rich types, different forms, novel themes, diverse cultures, and a wide range of reading ages. There are multiple juxtaposed artistic presentations, and storytelling that runs through the main line; there are both purely visual creative expressions, and elaborate creations that integrate philosophical thinking into images; there are surging emotional expressions and rich and systematic knowledge communication.

After careful reading and selection by Chinese and foreign judges, 20 works finally stood out and won awards or nominations. Meanwhile, as recommended by the Solicitation and Selection Office and approved by the Organizing Committee, the jury decided on one candidate for the Special Contribution Award, one for the Outstanding Writer Award and two for the Emerging Writer of Chinese Writing.

Kate Dicamillo, a famous American writer of children's literature, won this year's CICLA Outstanding Writer for her excellent achievements in the creation of children's literature works. Cai Gao, a senior Chinese picture book painter, won this year's CICLA Special Contribution Award for her great contributions to the communication, promotion and development of Chinese and foreign children's literature. Mei Yu, a famous children's literature writer, and Sonan Cairang, a children's writer of Mongolian ethnic group, won this year's CICLA Emerging Writer of Chinese Writing.

Accompanying more children to grow up happily and continuously expanding the CICLA's influence

This year, Baoshan actively advanced the brand’s promotion to enhance its visibility and influence. At its awarding ceremony, the organizers first released the exercise books featuring the CICLA illustrations for primary and secondary school students with 18 carefully selected outstanding illustrations from the previous Original Illustration Exhibitions to be printed on the covers of the unified exercise books for primary and secondary school students in Baoshan District, in a move to help more children widen their international horizons, enhance cultural self-confidence, shape a sound personality, and grow healthily under the influence of excellent illustrations.

Meanwhile, development of the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Award Digital Library was launched at the ceremony. New technologies such as Metaverse will help the CICLA, an international cultural brand, take off and make cross-circle breakthroughs against the backdrop of the digital economy in the near future.

Besides, Baoshan continued to carry out a series of activities throughout the year. The 8th “Childlike Innocence Created by the Pen” Chen Bochui Children's Literature Creation Competition experienced an all-around upgrade and collected over 3,100 entries, doubling from the previous year. It also launched a series of reading promotion activities including Chen Bochui Children's Book House Special Edition and "Reading Classics and Lighting up Childlike Innocence" 2022 CICLA Classic Works Recitation Contest, which have attracted tens of thousands of young people to participate and  provided continuing nourishment in their growth by reading.

Telling Chinese stories to more with the aim of driving the CICLA to the world

Founded in 1981, the Chen Bochui International Children's Literature Award is one of the literature awards with the longest continuous running and the greatest number of winning writers in China. So far, it has selected 494 winning works and 408 winning authors. After being upgraded to an international award in 2014, the CICLA has attracted more than 50 countries and 1,300 foreign entries to participate. A large number of winning works depicting traditional Chinese culture, embodying Chinese spirits with unique Chinese style have gone out of Baoshan, Shanghai, and China, so that more children around the world can learn about Chinese culture, appreciate Chinese flavors, and understand China.

In the next step, Baoshan will thoroughly study and implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the CPC and the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping on telling Chinese stories well and further developing Shanghai's cultural soft power, measure up to the Hans Christian Andersen Award, enhance cultural self-confidence and self-improvement, and help Shanghai grow into an international cultural metropolis. The measures include developing IPs based on the winning CICLA works and diversifying the systems of cultural and creative products; experimenting on building a Children's Literature Education Pilot Zone in Shanghai to highlight the educative nature of children's literature and laying a good foundation for children's lifelong development; further enhancing the global influence of the CICLA, to the extent that the CICLA will be regarded as one of the three international cultural brands that run parallel with the Shanghai Baoshan International Folk Arts Festival and the International Cruise Riverside Cultural Belt, and will be aligned with Shanghai's top ten cultural brand activities. Baoshan will continue to increase its global promotion efforts, better show the works of "Eastern and Western Fairy Tales" to the world, and contribute to Shanghai's goal of moving faster to build a socialist modern international metropolis with worldwide influence.

The winners of CICLA 2022 are:

Outstanding Author

Kate Dicamillo (USA)
Children's Literature Writer

Special Contribution Award

Cai Gao (China)
Senior Chinese Picture Book Painter

Best Picture Book

Mr Bear's Class Learns to Write One

Wu Yanan (text)
Liu Longsha (ill.)
Hsin-Yi Picture Book|Tomorrow Publishing House

Summer Story

Wei Jie (text)
Li Xiaoguang (ill.)
Poplar Kid's Republic |New World Press

Dad and I

Zhang Yaling (text & ill.)
Hsin Yi Foundation Press


Marianna Coppo (text & ill.)
Tundra Books

A Piece of the Sky

Lee Soon-ok (text & ill.)
Gilbut Children
South Korea

Nominations for Best Picture Book

  • 大风

    The Gale
    Mo Yan (text)
    Zhu Chengliang (ill.)
    21st Century Publishing House

  • 一块巧克力

    A Piece of Chocolate
    Yu Liqiong (text)
    Ishikawa Eriko (Japan) (ill.)
    Oriental Babies & Kids Limited|Jiangsu Phoenix Juvenile and Children's Publishing Ltd.

  • Planet Life The Amazing History of Earth

    Planet Life: the Amazing History of Earth
    Aina Bestard (Spain) (text & ill.)
    Tra Publishing 

  • The Bear And The Little Green Thing

    The Bear and the Little Green Thing
    Tang Diandian (text & ill.)
    Berbay Publishing

  • 时间是一朵花

    Time is a Flower
    Julie Morstad (Australia)(text & ill.)
    Tundra Books

Best Literary Works in Chinese Language

Statue of Little Mouse

Shi Ruoxin(text)
Reader's Friend Magazine

Once upon a Time, There Was a Story

Long Xiangmei (text)
Guangxi Normal University Press

Look at the Face of Moon

Li Qiuyuan (text)
Zhejiang Juvenile and Children's Publishing House

Return of the Navigator

Wang Xiumei (text)
Qingdao Publishing House

The Chirp of Insects in the Grass

Huang Wenjun (text)
Aurora Publishing House

Nominations for Best Literary Work in Chinese Language

  • 月亮男孩

    Moon Boy
    Ma Sanzao(text)
    Children's Literature Magazine

  • 爷爷的老房子

    Grandpa's Old House
    Zhang Qiusheng (text)
    Chunfeng Literature & Art Publishing House

  • 棋门幻影

    The Phantom of Go
    Zhang Zhilu (text)
    Daylight Publishing House

  • 树孩

    Tree Child
    Zhao Lihong
    Changjiang Literature & Art Publishing House

  • 露天厨房

    Open-air Kitchen
    Jing Fan (text)
    Jiangsu Phoenix Juvenile and Children's Publishing Ltd.

Emerging Author of Chinese Writing

Mei Yu (China)
Children's Literature Writer

Suonan Cairang (China)
Children's Writer of Mongolian Ethnic Group

Past winners