Slovakia to promote its children’s books at Taipei book fair

TAIPEI (CNA) – The national booth Slovakia is setting up at the upcoming 2019 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) will feature children’s books, as the landlocked country in Central Europe seeks to boost interaction between the children’s literature sectors of Slovakia and Taiwan.

About 70 Slovakian children’s books, including collections of folk songs, poems, riddles and fairy tales, will be exhibited at the annual book fair, which will be held Feb. 12-17 at the Taipei World Trade Center, according to Chen Liang Podstavek (梁晨), the key person orchestrating the installation of the Slovakia booth.

The Chinese Slovakian, who holds a Slovakian doctorate in linguistics and literature, is the wife of Martin Podstavek, the representative of the Slovak Economic and Cultural Office Taipei.

Chen Liang Podstavek, who goes by her Slovakian name Lidka, has been devoted to translating children’s books published in Taiwan and Slovakia since late 2017 when she began life in Taiwan along with her diplomat husband.

Lidka told CNA in a recent interview that she hopes to promote bilateral exchanges in the children’s literature of the two nations.

Thanks to her fondness for translation work, each children’s book to be exhibited at the Slovakia booth in the Taipei fair will have a synopsis in both Chinese and English, even though they are all written in Slovakian.

In this way, she hopes young Taiwanese readers and publishers will have the chance to become acquainted with the children’s literature of Slovakia, Lidka said.

In addition, more than 200 Taiwanese students from seven elementary schools around the country will visit the Slovakia booth at the fair, Lidka said.

She will host the young visitors in person and will tell them some classic Slovakian fairy tales in the hope of piquing their interest in Slovakia, Lidka added.

By Elaine Hou and Elizabeth Hsu