Vietnam Time

5/21/2019 3:57:21 PM

'Diary of a cricket’ wins hearts in China

Over the past 78 years, “Diary of a Cricket", written by To Hoai, has become a close friend of many children. The book received a big welcome in China and has already been reprinted 3 times.

'Diary of a cricket’ has been translated into different languages.

In 1941, ‘Diary of a cricket’ was published for the first time and immediately aroused a strong interest in young readers. To Hoai’s cricket, who began hopping on the grass along Hanoi’s To Lich River, eventually crossed national borders to touch the hearts of children in over 40 countries around the world.

Diary Of a Cricket by To Hoai is regarded as a classic children novel through many decades. It describes the adventures of a cricket who leaves his nest and travels to different places. He grows up and learns by overcoming difficult situations with the help of many different people and animals. Despite numerous difficulties on the road, the cricket with his friends is determined to fight against injustice in life.

The whole literature work is an innovative invention of the author through a process of meticulous observation and careful study of cricket life. To Hoai has used the stories of animals to debate raison d’etre of human being and convey a message for young people - to walk new paths, try new works, and build a happy life, rather than staying in a sullen society.

At the age of 78, Cricket remains young as a friend of all Vietnamese children forever. He is brimming with thirst to explore new worlds and face new challenges. A cricket was initiated by To Hoai and adventured around the world to look for good things for human being not only in Vietnam but also in many other countries. The story has been translated into Russian, English, French, Japanese, Swedish, Korean, and Khmer, and is popular in 40 countries.

Cover of Diary of a Cricket by Ta Huy Long.

The book was introduced to Chinese readers in January last year thanks to cooperation between China’s Solidarity Publishing House and Vietnam’s Kim Dong Publishing House. The book received a big welcome in China and has already been reprinted 3 times.

Xiao Wei, head of the Chinese Solidarity Publishing House’s Cultural Center, said, "The book has received a lot of positive comments on social networks. I think a book for children should promote values that benefit them. Through books we hope to make younger readers more compassionate and peace lovers."

The book is an encyclopedia of insects and triggers children’s curiosity about nature, while reflecting beautiful human values.

12-year-old Chen Jun Long from Beijing said, "The Cricket takes me on his adventure from being an arrogant cricket who likes to bully those more vulnerable than him to becoming a peace-lover who dares to protect the right things."

"I think I can learn a lot from his bravery and try not to be held back by any difficulties. The part I love most in this book is when the Cricket calls on the world to live in peace. I think this is not a message just for the insects but for people also. We need to understand that peace is something all should treasure," said Chen.

Chinese readers’ positive response to the book has paved the way for further cooperation between publishers of Vietnam and China.

"This book is evidence of fruitful cultural cooperation that benefits the youths of both countries. I hope Vietnam will introduce more interesting books, especially those for children, to Chinese readers and we can introduce more excellent Chinese books to Vietnamese readers," said Xiao Wei.

Another children’s book by To Hoai, ‘The Knight Mantis’, and a Vietnamese folk tale called ‘The Mice Wedding’ will soon be published in China.

To Hoai (1920-2014) was a great, old tree” of the Vietnamese literary circle and children literature. His real name was Nguyen Sen while his pen name “To Hoai” originated from the first names of two famous places in Hanoi - the To Lich River and Hoai Duc District. He began the literature career by writing romantic poems but then found that it didn’t match him. His first short story was ‘Water rises’ written in realistic style and attracted public attention.

In 1941, To Hoai wrote “Con de men” (A cricket), the first version of the story, for Tan Dan Publishing House, and then in 1942 he continued to write and released the work together as “De men phieu luu ky” (Diary of a Cricket), the version celebrated today.

To Hoai has received many honours, including the Ho Chi Minh Award for Literature and Arts in 1996 and other literary accolades. In addition to Diary of a Cricket and A Phu and His Wife, To Hoai left a large legacy of over 100 works of different genres./.

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