The Day Vegetables Became Goblins is a vibrant and imaginative nursery rhyme. Vegetables only quietly live within gardens, but this work depicts each of the vegetables as a living and vivid figure. It artfully presents the features of vegetables, and it fills the story with humor.
The 1st Picture Book Award Winning Books
- Author：Compilation of popular nursery rhymes from Northern China
- Illustrator：Zhou Xiang
- Publisher：Hsin Yi Publications
- Age Range：3-8
- Publication Date：07-2008
Zhou has an exceptional vision to choose a delightful nursery rhyme as the text of his picture book, and adapts part of the contents for modern children to understand better. The expressive approach seems simple yet proficient. It also combines of reality and fantasy The figuration and movements of vegetables are lively. The natural personification of faceless vegetables makes this even more humorous and interesting. The humor on images can particularly touch children of three to eight.
Zhou eloquently accommodates Chinese artistic elements with the nursery rhyme background, such as Peking Opera martial arts scenes. The scene on the title page can also be associated with the vegetable fields in Bianjing outskirts in the ancient Chinese painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival. The austere style is an imitation of ancient artists Xu Wei and Qi Baishi. The expressive and forceful lines enable readers to enjoy the visual effects, the sensational contrast of softness and hardness, the aural contrast of roar and station, and each character's advance and retreat.
The title page informs us the field owner leaves home and gives the vegetables a ground to become goblins. In the end of the rhyme, the text repeats the first line but the vegetables in the picture do not. The picture then keeps telling stories. The owner gets home, and everything is back in tranquility. Yet the endpaper has a wordless picture (in the edition published by Tomorrow Publishing House) implying something bustling and leaving readers space for imagination.
Song Pei (Part-time Instructor of Chung Yuan Christian University and National Taipei University of Education in Taiwan; professional in art history, art appreciation and analysis of children's picture books )
Zhou Xiang was born in Fengxiang, Shanxi in 1956. He graduated from the Nanjing Arts Institute and is currently working for the magazine Oriental Baby 《東方娃娃》 as the Chief Editor. In 1992, he participated in the Chinese Contemporary Picture Book Illustration Exhibition, which was organized by the Japanese and Chinese Children's Literature Art Exchange Centre and CBBY China Branch. Since 1987 he has won numerous children's literature awards in China. In 2006, his most recent book, A Morning Market in Lotus Town 《荷花鎮的早市》 was published in Japan and China.