Text/Reporter Xu Shuxin Zhang Jueyin

  Every nation has its own biological world, and the ancient Chinese constructed the Huaxia biosphere.

Turtles, dragons and phoenixes, fish leaps and kites, plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum... These creatures have been with our nation for thousands of years, interdependent, and shaped the Chinese way of life and spiritual temperament.

  A few days ago, Xiamen writer Xiao Chunlei's new works "Mr. Wormwood" and "The Temptation of Cats" were published, telling the stories of nearly 100 most important terrestrial plants, terrestrial animals and Chinese people in Chinese history.

These two books, together with "Flying Fish" published last year, form the "Huaxia Biological Legend" series, which is a set of original humanities popular science books specially designed for young people.

A few days ago, Xiao Chunlei accepted an exclusive interview with this reporter, talking about the conception of the new work and the perception of the writing process.

  Reporter: Talk about the reasons for writing these two books?

  Xiao Chunlei: Last year, I published a book "Flying Fish" about marine life in Lujiang Publishing House, which is aimed at children's readers.

After the publication, the response was good, and the children loved it.

The publisher asked me if I could write about animals and plants again?

I complied.

Twenty years ago, I published a book "Cultural Creatures - Creatures in the Vision of Chinese Culture", and I took out some of the chapters to rewrite, so I have "The Temptation of Cats" and "Mr. Wormwood", which were published last year. The "Flying Fish" just formed a set of "Huaxia Biological Legends", which respectively tell the stories of animals, plants and marine life, each book is 18 chapters.

  Reporter: How to understand "Huaxia Biological Legend"?

What do you hope to convey to readers through this series of books?

  Xiao Chunlei: When I started writing "The Temptation of a Cat" last year, I became a grandfather.

I regret that the wild South China tiger has become a legend for my grandson, and I had an accidental encounter with a South China tiger in the deep mountains and forests when I was young.

There are many legendary animals left in ancient China, such as dragon, phoenix, unicorn, etc. Many scientists deny the existence of these creatures.

I think, after a few years, when all tigers have disappeared, and only distant legends are left, will there be people who will deny the existence of tigers?

The original intention of my creation is to build the increasingly broken "Huaxia Biosphere" for young readers, to lead them to understand the Chinese biological world, and then to understand China's splendid civilization.

  Some plants, such as mulberry trees, are found all over the world, but they occupy a unique position in the development of Chinese farming culture, because we are a nation that grows mulberries, raises silkworms, and spins silk.

Each plant has its own character, destiny and legend.

I have deliberately selected some of the most common plants and trees to tell the story of how they are seen, recognized, appreciated and utilized by our civilization.

  Reporter: What kind of homework did you do to write these two books?

  Xiao Chunlei: It was not easy to write these two books.

For each species covered in the book, I have consulted many academic papers, read relevant ancient books and documents, and extracted a certain theme.

Based on modern biology, I try to understand the concepts and wisdom of ancient Chinese, and reconstruct the life landscape of traditional China.

Both books continue the writing style of "Flying Fish". In order to be suitable for children's reading and to increase the scientific nature, I have made a substantial rewrite, and some chapters are almost rewritten.

  This set of books also includes related famous paintings drawn by many famous artists in the past dynasties, trying to express the cultural significance of creatures in the form of images.

He also invited Liu Zheshu, an editor of Xiamen Evening News, to draw colorful illustrations, showing the magnificent landscape of the Chinese biosphere in a fantasy, romantic and beautiful modern style.

Keywords: