The last time I was in China, I was very puzzled because none of my children’s picture books are in print in Mainland China. They’re in print in Hong Kong and in Taiwan, in complex Chinese characters, but they are not in print in Mainland China. I asked my producer, “Why aren’t any of my children’s picture books in print in Mainland China?,” and they said, “It’s because of their disrespect for authority.” I said, “Really?!” And they said, “Yeah, look at them. The Wolves in the Walls is about this little girl who tells her parents that there are wolves in the walls, but they do not believe her. There really are wolves in the walls, and thus her parents are proved wrong. And, in The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish, these kids swap their dad. If that happened, society would crumble.”
So, suddenly, it became a goal of mine that was almost a little obsession to write a children’s picture book that would be published in Mainland China, that they could not help but publish, but still could have all of the things that are in my children’s picture books, and I did it. I wrote this book and it’s being painted right now by this wonderful artist, and it’s called Chu’s Day, and it is about a baby panda who sneezes. There is no way that anyone can resist a baby panda who sneezes. This is the single cutest book I’ve ever written. It is written for two-year-olds and is designed in such a way that I’ve tried it on kids and it actually works that when you get to the end, they just look at you and they say, “Read it again!” The only words on page one are, “When Chu sneezed, bad things happened.”
Thanks to Jorge Lacera for the link.