Spring Festival

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that my friend Di Wu would create such glorious illustrations for our forthcoming picture book which, at the moment, is titled the Spring Festival.

Di has just returned from a short time in China where he worked on much of the art … so these illustrations have done a fair amount of travelling. They are created in ink on rice paper – a traditional Chinese way of creating art so this is even more evocative for me. Di has set the book in a northern Chinese setting which is more emotive that a southern Chinese setting – there is snow. His illustration of the the dragon dance is just glorious and colours are bouncing out from every page … there will be lots of discussion and teaching to come from the art, of this I am certain!

It is important for me to tell these stories, of China and Chinese culture, not only for the children who will read them but also for me. This is my heritage. This is where part of me will always have a very firm hold.

with Di

with Di

That was on Wednesday when Di showed the illustrations to me and this is the way it went:

Di – a little nervous
Me – very curious (maybe nervous too)
Di – a little more nervous
ME – very more curious … “fie de lah, fie de lah” I silently think.
Di – carefully unveiling
Me – breathless and excited and thrilled … ‘oh wow. Just perfect.’
Di – phew!

and then over and over we pour over the illustrations – followed by a delicious celebratory cup of Chinese tea DaHong Pao (a prestigious Wuyi oolong tea).


We also made a lightning trip down to the National Library in Canberra on Friday. Three hours driving each way and it was great to be there with Di to show Susan and the team the art and to see their reactions as each illustration was unveiled … nervousness gone and excited publisher (and isn’t that the best way to be)!!

Cant wait for the finished book! And yes there IS a dragon within the page … yee hah!

3 Responses to Spring Festival

  1. Hi Chris, great to see you are living your dream and with a big smile on your face! Am now a school librarian, so hopefully will catch up on children’s book circuit. I am on face book, if you want to keep in touch. P.s I think I recognise that ponytail, just longer than I remember it! xx

    Anne Maher June 1, 2015 at 7:49 pm Reply
    • just catching on the backlog … where are you TL?

      Chris Cheng August 29, 2015 at 4:23 pm Reply
      • My god, you must have a long backlog, you popular person! I am at Doonside full time library and ESL and lovin it! Heaps of aboriginal students and other ethnic groups, so great fun, every day we end up celebrating something! I am under Anne Maher on facebook or tell me where to login to as would like to keep in contact as well as know what I should be bringing into library, as this is my first year as librarian shheeeessh!! Just managed to poke my head through OLIVER, love it!!

        Anne Maher August 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm Reply

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