After finding the oldest tree in Taipei, the sweet gum tree at the beginning of the year, Huei asked if I had the plan to write a picture book for it. It was spring, and I didn't feel ready then. In May, I occasionally found the picture book contest held by the Environmental Protection Administration. By the time I learned about it, there was merely one month away from the deadline, but somehow I wanted more than ever to participate in it. During the process of preparation, I was full of faith and power, which I believe came from the tree. Very luckily, my work won the special mention prize.
The award ceremony takes place in Taiwan Land Bank Exhibition Hall, National Taiwan Museum, which is an extremely classical building.
To be honest, I didn't know that we have such a beautiful museum in Taiwan! The wooden roof is my favorite.
There are two categories in the contest--teaching plans and picture books. The judge points out the strengths and weaknesses of the winning picture books.
The top three picture books are turned into audio books presented to the audience. The winner of the third place, Ms. Chen, was also a winner in the picture book contest held by Hsin-y Foundation earlier this year.
The winner of the second place "Blossoming Trees" impresses the viewer with its fine paper-cutting technique while the theme of the book is about planting trees. As we watch the story, Von can't help whispering to me: You two have similar stories!"
The winner of the first place "The Clinic by the Sea" is viewed as almost perfect by the jury. The images and text are extremely simple, but the story is really impressive.
The sponsor prepares snacks made from local agricultural crops, which warms our hearts.
Picture book artists are all so beautiful!
Something wonderful about the ceremony is that every winner is invited to share their inspirations and experiences about making their books. I have thus learned much from the others and collected many great ideas.
The kids run into our group picture with big bouquets of flowers.
Kai loves my trophy a lot. I am the person that brings the most visitors with me. Many thanks to my family who come to cheer for me.
I talk to one of the judges about how to improve my work. She suggests that I work on the text and some images. Her advice is the most important reason why I have to be there in the ceremony today.
National Taiwan Museum is a really amazing place. In fact, the moment I walk in, I think of the Natural History Museum in London. However, I like the one here more. I went to London with a dream, and I am on my way to realizing the dream step by step here in Taipei. I don't love anything else more than my present.
Most important of all, I am with those who I love. The boys always work with me when I make picture books. They are not only my readers but also my editors. Without them, I wouldn't be here!