Children's book, how to avoid "cult"


  Editor's note:

  The annual "June 1" Children's Day is coming, and the topic of "children's reading" has also received more and more attention.

  Statistics show that as of 2019, there were 561 publishing houses nationwide, of which more than 540 published children's books. In the context of the growing weakness of the book market, "Children's Books" is in a good situation, maintaining the momentum of rapid growth.

  Behind the rapid growth is the turbulence of the children's book market. Due to the "lack of companionship", a large number of utilitarian and fast-paced children's books are popular. People expect to use a book to "perfectly solve" children's educational problems.

  "Essence of education is companionship, not method. The spread of 'cult-style' children's books is due to the lack of family education," said Xiong Bingqi, a famous educationist.

  "If you have been to the training site, you will also feel that this is children's education, which is similar to the" cult "." Mr. Wang told reporters.

  Mr. Wang works in a foreign company. His children just went to elementary school the year before last. Every time they pick up or drop off their children, a group of people will send business cards and hand in materials at the school gate. In most cases, Mr. Wang will refuse, but he still has a thick stack of business cards with a variety of interesting titles printed on it: children's "learning" coaches, children's "finance business" trainers, children's concentration Training experts, child development consultants ...

  "I didn't believe them very much at the beginning, but they all had their own books and went to several free lectures. These 'experts' coaches' are similar to witches, in fact, the routines are similar." According to Mr. Wang's summary, There are four key points:

  First, create panic to make parents feel that their children have become backwards;

  Second, promise to get immediate results as long as they buy their books and take their classes;

  Third, be good at creating an atmosphere, by calling slogans, passionate speeches, telling short stories, parents who have participated in the training to talk about "benefit experience", etc., to encourage more people to buy their books, or participate in training;

  Fourth, if the parents feel that the results are not effective, they will be said to be "under-understanding and poor learning attitude."

  "I turned over their books, basically according to the" problem encountered-terrible consequences-put forward new concepts-pile up plausible arguments-a complete solution "formula, plus some cases and jokes, even if it is a book . Some 'experts' coaches may have worked in the insurance industry. The models drawn in the book and the PPT used in the lectures are similar, but the words have been changed. "Mr. Wang said.

  What makes Mr. Wang most uncomfortable is: "Now that the pressure of children is great enough, why can this kind of anxious children's book be published? And so much?"

  Everyone is going to the children's book market

  "Why can you publish? The pressure of competition is too great." Publisher Lin Qiulan said. She has seen a statistic. As of 2019, there are 561 publishing houses in the country, of which more than 540 are publishing children's books. "Five years ago, many publishers were not optimistic about the children's book market. Over the past five years, everyone has been drilling in. Because the plates for adult publishing are shrinking, all publishers hope to have a children's book product line."

  Wang Shuai, general manager of Beijing Tongxin Buma Cultural Media Co., Ltd., said: "Looking at the annual report of the book market in the past two years, we know that the annual growth rate of the adult book market is not large, only 10%, but the growth rate of children's books is 20%. . In the past, social sciences and finance were popular, but as early as 2017, teaching assistants and children's books were ranked in the top two sales of paper books. All publishers feel that this is a blue ocean, regardless of whether they have accumulated in the past, they are crowded Come in. "

  In addition to the temptation of growth, there are several "innate advantages" in publishing children's books:

  First, the risk is small. Topic selection is easier and more efficient.

  Second, the cost is lower. Taking picture books as an example, the first print only needs 3000-5000 copies, while the first print volume of adult books is generally between 5000-8000 copies.

  Third, the market operation is easy. In Lin Qiulan ’s words: “Especially for low-school books, readers are not very able to speak and ca n’t tell what they want. As long as parents think this book is good for their children, they will buy it. This group of parents bought it. The next batch of parents will buy it, which is easy to make into a "classic book". "

  "But everyone participated in it, and found that children's books are not so profitable. At present, most of the children's books that can be 'best-selling' in the market were released 5 years ago. The best-selling children's books in the past 5 years are really Countless copies. "Lin Qiulan said.

  Wang Shuai believes: "Many people think that the threshold of the children's book market is low, but in fact, it is difficult to adapt to it without more than three years of accumulation, because the topic you make cannot be recognized by the ground store or online store, and will not take your Put the book in a conspicuous position. In the past few years, you can still grab some new varieties to grab the market, and now this is not possible. "

  Can't make a best-selling book, everyone has to work hard on the psychology of teachers and parents.

  Lin Qiulan said: "Some children's books have captured the laziness of teachers and parents. Cultivating qualities such as virtue, wisdom, physical beauty and labor requires adult demonstration. Just because adults cannot provide immersive education for children, they want to use one This book to solve the problem. "

  As a result, all kinds of quick and method-style children's books appeared.

  Vigorous creation but there is still a gap with international standards

  Market competition is fierce, but children's book authors have not benefited much.

  The author Fan Dian said: "Relatively speaking, the benefits of writing children's books are higher than those of adult books. Before that I published a 400,000-word novel with a royalty of only 7.5% and barely received 10,000 yuan. This children's book is about 50,000 words per book, and each book has reached 10,000 yuan. "

  Fan Dian said that he wrote children's literature with high originality and higher manuscript fees. Even so, it is "impossible to support myself" by writing books alone. Under normal circumstances, children's book writers first use book writing to gain popularity, and then through lectures, study classes, plus creative income, "can only feed themselves."

  "Now the children's book writing is very prosperous. Every time the Writers Association meets, you can see many young authors, but everyone is amateur creation, mainly school teachers, cultural center staff and media people. I was also an editor in children's magazines. On the road of amateur children's literary creation. Even Cao Wenxuan is writing while teaching at the university. "Fan Dian said.

  The famous translator Wan Zhizeng said: "In Sweden, it's too comfortable to be a writer, because every time a reader borrows a book from a public library, the country has to give the Writers Association 0.40 yuan, and part of it is for the writer. The author of "Socks Pippi") can sometimes receive tens of millions of money at the end of the year, but 7 million of them have to pay taxes. This money is not given by readers. It is given by the government and even translated. My wife can sometimes receive it at the end of the year. More than 10,000 yuan is really a good policy. "

  Writer Ye Qingcheng has just finished writing two children's novels of "Hello, First Grade" and "Snail's Gu Xiaoman". She said: "The difference between children's literature and children's books should be distinguished. There are very few people, and most of the authors write children's books, which is to do 'science popularization' for children, just like teaching assistants. "

  In addition, although the creation of children's books is becoming more and more vigorous, there is still a certain gap in connection with international standards, especially in terms of style, which is relatively single. Fan Dian said: "I know an overseas picture book writer. She runs around the world every year, participates in various book fairs, finds a good book style, and introduces it to the mainland market. It is indeed different."

  Anxiety produces "theater effect"

  With regard to the proliferation of "cult-style" children's books, Fan Dian believes that there are two reasons:

  First, when Chinese parents pick picture books, they rarely buy them because of their aesthetic quality, and most of them look at practicality. There are too many parents of this kind, and there are naturally many "cult-style" children's books.

  Second, many adults do not read books. In the atmosphere of "reading for all", all units are holding book clubs. They have to go to the book website to download audio, play it together, and discuss a few sentences, even if they have read. The audio of this kind of listening to books is mostly "blood-blooded", so when these parents buy books for their children, they only read a title and do not understand it in depth.

  In this regard, Ye Qingcheng has a different view: "I blamed the parents for standing and talking without back pain, and did not feel the difficulty of the parents."

  Ye Qingcheng has contacted many young parents, most of whom are from rural areas. They changed their destiny through the college entrance examination. Although they are already in the middle class, they generally lack a sense of security. Ye Qingcheng said: "In contact, they said the most that they thought they were not as good as their parents. After all, the parents still had a piece of land. The children didn't go to college, they could go to farm. But their generation came into the city. Resources, except for a suite that you live in, you ca n’t leave anything for your children. In the past few years, economic growth has slowed, and their anxiety has become stronger. "

  With anxiety, there will be a "theater effect": when others stand up, you can only stand up.

  "Now children have nothing to play with, because the students are in various cram schools and can only go to the cram school to find friends to play. As long as the economy permits, it is also a helpless way for parents to love their children. . For the 'City 2nd Generation', besides relying on achievements, what else can they rely on? This is a pity, I blame parents too much, I think it's too kind. "Ye Qingcheng said.

  After seeing too many realistic cases, Ye Qingcheng believes that it is better to give everything to the market. The fashion of children's books should finally let the market have the final say: when the economy is developing rapidly, children's books will tend to encourage personal development; in economic development When slowing down, children's books will be more hard-working and hard-working.

  "As long as there are enough people to write, the market will inevitably eliminate a group of people, it is not worth fussing." Ye Qingcheng said. But she also admits that the current marketization of children's books is not enough, and some schools have influenced parents' choices by organizing activities such as "following picture books XX", "reciting" San Zi Jing "and" discipline regulations ").

  "Over the years, the school has paid more attention to classical Chinese, but I hope that children will read more beautiful articles like Zhang Dai instead of just stupidity, filial piety, and emperor generals. But there is no need to compete, and the teacher is not easy." Ye Qingcheng believes, "Whose responsibility is the cult of children's books? I can't tell you well. Anyway, the responsibility is not the child's, not the teacher's, nor the parent's."

  The projection of intense competition in the adult world

  "Essence of education is companionship, not method. The spread of 'cult-style' children's books is due to the lack of family education," said Xiong Bingqi, a famous educationist.

  Xiong Bingqi said that family education is personalized education, which varies according to the parents' culture, cognition, background, and children's personalities. The general principle of family education is similar, that is, respect for the personality and hobbies of children, but in operation, it must be different from person to person. Everyone is pursuing methods. The popularity of tiger dads, tiger moms, Harvard girls, and so on, shows that family education is lacking, so they have to use other people's experience to "use it." From the results, it is completely useless.

  "Early childhood education should be de-primary, reduce knowledge, and focus on cultivating children's healthy behavior habits and healthy thinking habits, but family education is lacking, and everyone is reluctant to spend time to cultivate children, so there are so many bilingual kindergartens and technology kindergartens. I have said these words repeatedly, for more than ten years, and the media have also reported a lot, but it is still useless. Various early childhood training institutions are still making money, and even more and more are getting mad, and some big Vs and celebrities have also joined them. , Help push the waves. "Xiong Bingqi used the word" despair "to express his feelings.

  What makes Xiong Bingqi most incomprehensible is that although the "cult" of the children's book is the projection of the fierce competition in the adult world, the individual is not without room for resistance-the publisher knows that this will "kill yourself" and still publishes this in large numbers. Children's books; the author knows that "chicken soup" writing is unreliable, and does not make money, but he is still desperately writing; parents know that these books are not conducive to the growth of their children, but they are competing to pay for it; the teacher knows that these books deviate The spirit of education is still recommended to parents.

  Everyone "knows", but no one is responsible, because nothing can be changed by one person, and they don't want to be victims. Everyone is in anxiety, but let the anxiety torture.

  Xiong Bingqi believes that the reason lies in two aspects: "On the one hand, the heart has not yet eradicated the concept of hierarchy, and everyone is afraid of becoming the so-called" bottom layer "and afraid of being eliminated by society. But in fact, who is eliminated by society? Modern society pursues equality , There is no such thing as a "human being", on the other hand, anxiety contains benefits, so some people create anxiety and constantly exaggerate the impact of childhood behavior on the future, because they want to use anxiety to make money ".

  Let science shine into children's books

  "Too utilitarianism in children's books is indeed a serious problem, but it cannot be denied the practicality. I think that the healthier situation is that the relationship between practicality and fun should be 6: 4, but now we are 8: 2. It ’s even 9: 1. ”Said Lu Jun, a senior publisher and founder of Voice of the Future.

  Chen Xiang, a student studying in France, found that although French children's books are very interesting in form, the content also has obvious utilitarianity and practicality. For example, the classic comic Asterix is ​​based on Gaul's occupation by Rome and tells the relevant history. Knowledge. French children's books also adopt a grading reading method. For example, the picture books for children aged 0-2 are mainly based on patterns, introducing parents' titles and common sense. Children's books for older children are more storytelling, and there are some bigger themes about love and dreams. Children's books for older children have children's editions of celebrity biographies. But in the French book market, literature ranks first, accounting for 58%, and children's books rank second, only 16%.

  China ’s teaching assistants and children ’s books account for a higher proportion. Lu Jun ’s understanding is that Chinese books are relatively cheap. From the “Burger Index”, a book in the United States is worth 5 burgers, while in China, it is only 2 burgers. The burden of reading and buying books in China is relatively small, but most parents buy it for their children. Parents rarely read it by themselves. They do not know what books to buy for their children, nor how to choose.

  "In the field of children's books, there is indeed a phenomenon of excessive exaggeration and superstition, but it is useless to complain. The best way is to let the scientific light shine in the field of children's books to read and help parents improve their discernment ability." Lu Jun said . Since August last year, Lu Jun and his team have launched a graded reading guide for preschool children, condensed into "The Secret of Falling in Reading: Children's Graded Reading Enlightenment", hoping to submit the latest research results to parents.

  "There is no standard for reading, not only is China not doing enough research in this respect, but reading research is also marginalized all over the world." Lu Jun believes that because of insufficient research, children's books of the "omnipotent and immediate" style are flooding. In addition, the “Golden Age of Picture Books” in the past decade or so has also had side effects. The rapid expansion of the market has inevitably caused a lot of sediment. For most people, reading is not an innate ability and needs to be learned, so some people sacred reading for young children. "But the question is, who can say that reading a picture book is more noble than reading a villain's book? The style is superior, but the low style does not mean low quality. As long as the values ​​are not distorted, they should be compatible."

  "With ignorant parents, there will be the popularity of 'cult-style' children's books. The key to the problem is to provide parents with a scientific method of book selection and improve their resolution, so that various 'myths' will naturally not survive. Space is out, "Lu Jun said.

  Parents can help children carry a little

  The famous scholar Zhou Guoping once said: "As parents, if you have independent thinking, you can do your best fight, and give your children a better small environment as much as possible, so that their curiosity can grow freely. We can't change much, but we can Help the child carry it, or help the child do it. "

  The reality is full of pressure, but when possible, parents can still make a little effort.

  Shuang Jianmei is a writer and a lecturer in family education. In her view: "Many parents always look like a doctor when choosing a children's book-if the child has a cold, buy a cold medicine, and if the child has a fever, buy a fever. Medicine. If the child does not study well, go to the children's book to find various 'prescriptions' and try them one by one, because they feel that the child can't do it.

  In a chat with other parents, Shuang Jianmei found that when it comes to the shortcomings of his children, parents are always talking, and when it comes to advantages, they support us. If you can't help your child discover himself and discover his own strength, no matter how good it is, it can only be effective in the short term.

  "Actually, many problems are not unique to today. Parents of our generation have experienced the age of 'a test paper is determined to be a lifelong hero," we should reflect on our own journey. Life is a long-distance run, why not Cut into 800 meters one by one, to calculate the score in sections? "Shuang Jianmei said.

  After many years of appeal, Xiong Bingqi felt a bit discouraged. He said that the concept of "humanity" that leads education should be completely changed. He said: "Various exams are supporting the concept of grades, hoping to divide people into three, six, nine, etc. But can exams really change their destiny? If they do n’t do well, can they be lower? How can we treat the winners and losers as education What is the purpose? Our reflection is far from enough. In this context, it is too difficult to appeal to parents to be rational, because there are too many people fighting for parents, too many people fanning the flames, you have worked hard for many years, The previous article on the public account will make all your efforts into a bubble. "

  Shuang Jianmei accompanied his children to read picture books from a few months, and after 10 years, now the children can bury their heads to read a few hours of books, and the companion turns a few pages and becomes impatient. Shuang Jianmei has two children. The eldest son does not have much homework and can still study every day. The second daughter's homework is very heavy. Sometimes, Shuang Jianmei will help her with her homework. She said: "I hope she can have more spare time, even if she doesn't go to school, just to have fun. For the three or five points of the college entrance examination, it takes an hour or two more every day. This loss is a bit big."