Shen's Books is now an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS

As of November 20, 2013, Shen's Books was acquired by LEE & LOW BOOKS. We apologize for not posting this news earlier, but we are in the midst of a major website update. The official announcement is here

Upcoming titles and new paperback editions have been announced for spring 2014. Read more.

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ForeWord Magazine 2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist

BOTYA-Finalist-seal.jpgForeWord Magazine announced their 2012 Book of the Year finalists, and The Great Voyages of Zheng He was honored in the juvenile non-fiction category. Congratulations! Actually, double congratulations to author and illustrator Demi, who has two books on the finalist list.


The Great Voyages of Zheng He, written and illustrated by Demi, was reviewed in the February 15, 2013 issue of Booklist.

"Zheng He was a larger-than-life, fifteenth-century Chinese military leader, explorer, and visionary peacemaker. Appointed admiral of the expanding Chinese navy, he made seven important voyages with a vast armada of gargantuan ships, and opened the world to China 'with a policy of peace to all the rulers and people he met everywhere.' The mixed-media illustrations are in Demi's unique style, with tiny figures against stark, vast backdrops dominated by patches of dazzling reds and golds. The show-stopping depictions of the huge sails of the magnificent ships burst beyond the page borders. The text is placed in blocks at the edges of the pages, almost as if they are captions for the large-framed illustrations. But the saga of Zheng He's accomplishments, as well as bits of information about Chinese politics and culture, often prove just as interesting as the pictures. Though the information seems reliable, the lack of source documentation or an author's not puts some limits on this for classroom use."

School Library Journal

The Great Voyages of Zheng He, written and illustrated by Demi, was reviewed in the February 2013 issue of School Library Journal:

"This glowing tribute to the 15th-century Chinese admiral describes the seven voyages Zheng He commanded, commissioned by the third Ming emperor, Zhu Di. Overseeing a fleet of more than 300 ships, sailing on the world's largest wooden vessels, and commanding a navy of more than 27,000 men required a larger-than-life figure. Zheng He is described as not only a large man with a powerful voice but also as educated, skilled in diplomacy, and having ideas far ahead of his time. The voyages he commanded were designed to set up and reinforce diplomatic relations. Each commission returned loaded with riches and ambassadors from faraway ports. His travels are documented as sailing as far west and south as southern Kenya, but Demi hints at the theory that the fleets found their way to Australia and the New World, beating Columbus by 70 years. All records were destroyed after the emperor's death and China turned inward, leaving the ships to rot. After Zheng He's death at sea, the navy crumbled. Descriptions of the ships; details of the riches they traded, including giraffes and other animals; and battles with pirates all add interest. A map tracks the general path of all seven voyages with a single line. Done in her signature gold, finely patterned borders and Chinese red, Demi's images evoke a sense of time and place. No source information is provided. Units on explorers and China will be enriched by this offering."

2013 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

Congratulations to author Joan Schoettler and illustrator Jessica Lanan! Their book, Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, has been chosen by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association as the best picture book of the year. Here is the official press release:

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, has selected the winners of the 2013 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. The awards promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded based on literary and artistic merit.

The awards are given in five categories, with winner and honor books selected in each category. The winners of the 2013 awards include:

Picture Book Winner: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, written by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published by Shen's Books. Picture Book Honor was given to A Path of Stars written by Anne Sibley O'Brien, published by Charlesbridge.

Children's Literature: Hildi Kang's Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan published by Tanglewood Publishing. Shark King by Kikuo Johnson and published by Toon Books was selected as an honor recipient.

Young Adult Literature winner: Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary written by Keshni Kashyap, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Young Adult Literature Honor was given to Ichiro written by Ryan Inzana, also published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The Collective by Don Lee and published by W. W. Norton & Company was selected as the Adult Fiction winner. Drifting House by Krys Lee and published by Viking Penguin was selected as an Adult Fiction honor title.

Adult Non-Fiction winner: Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1989-1946, by Rick Baldoz and published by New York University Press. The Adult Non-Fiction honor book is Forbidden Citizens, by Martin B. Gold and published by The Capitol.Net.

Winner and Honor books were chosen from titles published from October 2010 to September 2012. The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse  Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities.

The winners will each receive an award plaque at the APALA Award Ceremony on Sunday, June 30, 2013 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

Visions: Demi at Hicklebee's


Visions: Demi signing at CSLA


Nov. 16-17, 2012: Shen's Books at CSLA Annual Conference

California Librarians: get ready! Shen's Books will be exhibiting at the CSLA Annual Conference in San Jose, CA this year. If you are going to be there, stop by and say hello.

We will have two author signings on Saturday, the 17th:

And if you're going to be at the conference on Sunday the 18th, don't miss Demi's presentation about the book at 10:30 am. See you there!

California School Library Association Annual Conference
November 16-17, 2012
Marriott Hotel
301 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Publisher's Weekly

zhenghe.jpgA very nice review of The Great Voyages of Zheng He by Demi was published in the October 29, 2012 issue of Publisher's Weekly. We are so pleased!

"Demi's account of 15th-century Chinese explorer Zheng He is enlivened by images of the dazzling wealth his fleet carried back to China: "Precious ambergris used for medicine, cowrie shells, sapphires, rubies, oriental topaz, and Persian carpets filled the Forbidden City." His 62 "Treasure Ships" were the largest the world had ever seen, but Zheng He also displayed a wealth of intellect and imagination that allowed him to embrace religious tolerance and open-mindedness--an attitude that might have had its source in his status as a Muslim in China. After a war in Ceylon, a statue he erected there "addressed Buddha, Shiva, and Allah, offering thanks for their compassion and moral virtue." Demi's skill as a biographer is on display, with details and context that add life and clarity. Her Persian miniature-like illustrations teach, too, showing the building of one of the fleet's ships and a portrait of Zheng He's burial at sea. It's especially valuable as a portrait of a hero whose adventures were driven not by the hunger to conquer, but by a desire simply to know and be known. Ages 8-up. (Nov.) "

Nov. 17, 2012: Demi Signing at Hicklebee's

The prolific azhenghe.jpgnd award-winning author Demi will be at Hicklebee's Books on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 2:00pm. She will be signing her newest book, The Great Voyages of Zheng He.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
2:00 pm
Hicklebee's Books
1378 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125

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Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.


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