A glimpse of what we’ve been reading incessantly in the past few months:)

Chen Jang Hong is a Chinese painter and illustrator living in Paris. 

In 2019 he won the Prix Albertine Jeunesse in the category for 7-9 year olds with his book The Tiger Prince, which is sadly the only one that's been translated into English so far.

We own others titles in Italian published by @babalibri and @camelozampa and my daughters (and us) totally love them.

In his books Chen Jiang Hong incorporates Chinese folklore into the narrative as well as Chinese iconography, rendered with Guouha (traditional chinese painting with ink and coloured pigments, on silk and rice paper). 

The atmosphere is different and unfamiliar (which is great right?:), and yet very engaging for younger children.

The moral is never straight forward, which is why I like these way more than many disturbing, patronising Western fairy tales.

The supernatural and the fearsome play a big role in the stories, as well as the celebration of children's innate power to overcome it. 

The space of the story offers a safe place to explore and transform fear.

In fact, Chen Jiang Hong interestingly manages to turn some intimidating figures and events into something that children can digest and see for what they are, as parts of a beautiful folktale.

Not the most Montessori-friendly titles you say? 

These are books that bring closer to us a faraway culture asking us to speak its language. In this sense they are an incredible reality exercise for children and parents alike.

Even in Montessori, it’s essential to stay flexible, and don’t get lost in the precepts. Montessori is a philosophy of parenting and education, not a doctrine.

Brave publishers out there, we need these all in English here!

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