Taiwan author inspires children to read and write

Latest episode of I-Fun Learning website's Celebrity Interviews shows author Wang Shu-fen dedication to children’s literature

Wang Shu-fen (National Academy for Educational Research photo)

Wang Shu-fen (National Academy for Educational Research photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Celebrity Interviews unit of the I-Fun Learning website has invited well-known children's author Wang Shu-fen (王淑芬) to be the guest on its latest episode.

In the video for this episode, viewers will see Wang’s dedication to children’s literature and how she uses handmade books to stimulate children’s interest in reading and writing. Wang discussed her experience writing “Wei Jun Goes to School” (君偉上小學) in particular:

“The six-book series details my son Wei Jun’s adventures in each grade level. The first book is about all the new and interesting things first grader Wei Jun encounters at school and the interactions he has with me at home. The articles were first published by a newspaper, and to my surprise, they were quite popular. After that, a publisher approached me, and the book was published. Then, the second book about Wei Jun’s experiences in second grade and the third book about his experiences in third grade were published. One by one, the whole series covering my son’s elementary school life, from grade one to grade six, was finished, which took me about a decade in total to finish.”

Wang said she recently received a message from a Hong Kong reader, who told her that the Wei Jun series has been translated into Braille for the blind. The message made her feel very touched, as she realized that even though she was not a famous author, the ideas in her writing can be transmitted to different groups of people via multiple channels, she added.

Wang also spoke about how she stimulated children’s interest in writing when she led reading groups several years ago.

She says she led an activity in which participating children made their own handmade books based on a book they had just read. For example, she had the groups finish the “Little Prince,” then asked each child to create a handmade heart-shaped “Little Prince” book and write down their thoughts about the story on every page.

During the handmade book activity, the children felt it was a fun game, not a writing exercise, Wang said, adding, "I used handmade books as a bridge to connect reading and writing.”

Wang says that when she finishes a book and receives feedback from readers, it is her happiest moment as an author. She encourages children to turn their interest into special skills, which will later help them achieve their goals in life.

(National Academy for Educational Research photo)