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Kids turn the page for fun and adventure

By Yao Min-G (Shanghai Daily)

10:36, August 22, 2012

Liang Yulei is browsing through the Mo's Mischief book series to see whether he should get one for his nine-year-old son. The series features naughty student Ma Xiaotiao, whose name means hopping around.

As a bestselling series written by former teacher Yang Hongying, it is also one of the first and few Chinese children's books that have been translated and published abroad.

The page Liang is reading tells the story of how Ma and his friend talk about wearing skirts to avoid pain after having a circumcision.

"Circumcision? That's interesting. I didn't expect to see this kind of discussion in a book for primary school kids," he tells Shanghai Daily while shopping with his son at the annual Shanghai Book Fair, which ended yesterday.

The 37-year-old accountant grew up at a time when certain subjects, such as death or love, were not commonly discussed in books for children.

He was brought up with books like "To Young Readers," written by famous contemporary Chinese writer Bingxin (born Xie Wanying 1900-1999), who was most famous for her philosophical essays.

Xie, together with other famous contemporary writers, was called by the national writers' association to write for children and young adults. At the time, there were very few specialized children's writers.

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