The ex-minister of culture and the French senator discuss the power of children’s literature

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Taipei, June 3 (CNA) Former Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and French Senator and Writer Joel Guerriau held a panel discussion at the Taipei International Book Expo on Friday, discussing the how children’s literature can inspire kindness in people.

It’s important to create characters who can inspire people to seek peace, especially since video games, TV shows and movies often project violence and focus more on sales, said Guerriau, who joined Cheng via video link for the discussion on children’s literature in France.

Guerriau said that as a child he was heavily influenced by novels like “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, by Jules Gabriel Verne.

By weaving scientific knowledge into his writing, Verne inspired readers to want to know more, to travel and to pay more attention to the world around them, said Guerriau, who has written several books for young readers.

Cheng, meanwhile, said her recent translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” into a new Chinese version and audiobook had made her wonder if people could reconnect with their innocence, in a world full of confusion.

Noting that the book was first published in 1943 during World War II, Cheng said she hopes people can find the power of good in history, as there are still wars raging. in the world.

Cheng’s translation of “The Little Prince” was released in late May, while a Chinese version of Guerriau’s “The Terrible Secret of Fergie” was recently released in Taiwan.

The Taipei International Book Expo is being held at the Taipei World Trade Center, Exhibition Hall 1, from June 2 to 7, with France as this year’s “guest of honor” country.

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