Published in China by Beijing Yuanliu Classic Culture, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński’s book Under Earth, Under Water has been awarded 2015 Book of the Year. The authors specialise in visually-refined beautiful books for children.
The authors have already won several awards for international hit Maps as well as Co z Ciebie Wyrośnie (What Will Become of You).
The Polish publishing house Dwie Siostry have reasons to be proud. Their authors, Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, a married couple, brought a valuable prize back from Beijing for Under Earth, Under Water. The Beijing News Weekly Review named it the 2015 Book of the Year.
Jadwiga Jędras of Dwie Siostry, the original publisher of the book, says:
The award was granted to them by the Chinese equivalent of the New York Times… The weekly awarded prizes in 10 categories. Under Earth, Under Water was the only book for children among the awarded positions.
The Polish couple is well-known in China. According to Shanghai Daily, the most famous book by the Mizielinskis, Maps, sold 60,000 copies in the first hundred days after its publication in China. In no other countries has Maps ventured better. It is not surprising given the fact that, according to Nelson Research, the Chinese children’s book market is the second biggest in the world. In 2014, as much as 80% of the market belonged to foreign publications.
In autumn, Shanghai hosted an international children’s book fair, during which the Mizielinskis’ book had its Chinese premiere. Jędras says:
During only the first day of the fair, 8,000 copies of the book were sold.
Shanghai Daily reported that the three-day fair attracted as many as 38,000 young readers and their parents and over 8,000 publishing professionals. Almost 50,000 titles, published by 300 companies from all over the world, were exhibited. The Grand Prix prize for illustration went to Michał Suska from Poland (who illustrated Katarzyna Stefanik’s W Koło, among other books) and Zhou Jieyuan from China.
A mother of a 9-year-old explained:
Most Chinese books look too realistic. A leg looks like a real leg and a hand like a real hand. But it doesn’t have to be that way for children.
That opinion must have been shared by the jury of the competition. On Wednesday, Dwie Siostry announced the Mizielińskis’ success in China:
We are happy to inform that the Chinese edition of Under Earth, Under Water by Ola and Daniel Mizieliński was awarded 2015 Best Book of the Year, awarded by the Beijing News Weekly Review. We sincerely congratulate the authors and the publisher, Beijing Yuanliu Classic Culture.
The Polish publisher plans to continue promoting the book abroad. According to Jędras:
Under Earth, Under Water has been translated into Russian, Italian, French and Dutch. The British version is in print right now and in the second half of the year, the book will be published in the United States as well. We are also planning Korean, Japanese, Swedish, Spanish and German editions. I believe that the book has enormous potential, as it is a mine of information. It isn’t a one-evening reading, rather it’s meant to be gradually discovered and in a sense it replaces many other books.
Source: wyborcza.pl, compiled by JRK, translated by OK, 26 Jan 2016