Another project during the coronavirus shelter-in-place order is creating a storybook as a gift to Daphney on her fourth birthday. Years ago, I bought a book of 100 Chinese Fables from a bookstore in Hong Kong. After picking out some of the stories that are fitting for a four-year-old, I illustrated to the text.
The book features original text in Classical Chinese with pinyin pronunciation guide. Also, each spread displays the modern Chinese equivalent and English translation. To bring the stories to life, Yan and I also recorded read-along audio. Guqin music accompanies two of the stories. First, the guqin melody 鷗鷺忘機 speaks directly about the story The One Who Likes Seagulls. Then, in The Frog of the Shallow Well, the turtle exclaims, “The greatest happiness is to live in the East Sea;” 極樂吟 describes the utmost joy.