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Picking Turnips

by Xu Zhou

translated by Adam Lanphier

Picture Book


8.1 x 10.2, 48 pages


March, 2017

ISBN 9781945295171

U.S. $15.99 / CAN. $20.99

Available now:

China SproutBaker & Taylor
Books A MillionFollett Titlewave 


 An ambitious but not entirely successful reboot of a familiar favorite. 

—Kirkus Reviews

The delicate, expressive and amusing watercolour artwork shows what’s going on above and below the ground at the same time. Picking Turnips is a refreshing twist on a traditional tale that is sure to capture children’s imagination. 

—Outside In World

The illustrations are cleverly drawn and children will have fun rooting for their favorite side. 

—Youth Services Book Review Starred Review

Picking Turnips reimagines Tolstory's The Gigantic Turnip in a surprising way. It is a wonderful book for young readers who understand either or both languages to exercise their language skills.

—Plant Talk: Inside The New York Botanical Garden

“Candied Plums showcases the variety and art of China's children's literature at a time when the United States receives precious little exposure to the vibrancy of contemporary Chinese culture. The books can be used as educational tools to learn about Chinese language about culture, but most crucially stand alone as unique, captivating stories with universal appeal. They are beautifully produced and deserve to be read by children (and adults) the world over.”

—Michael Buening

Director of Public Programs at China Institute

“Teachers of our kids program are immediately charmed by the Candied Plums books, and instantly talked about building a fun unit plan around one or two books for this coming semester. These books are perfect for kids to get excited about stories written in Chinese, especially outside of Chinese speaking regions. I would recommend to any teachers and/or parents who are seeking fun, beautiful, and well-written books in Chinese.”

—Shenzhan Liao

Director of Education & Dean at China Institute

I'd give Candied Plums a hug if I could. We have a very large Chinese population and I'm always struggling to find good Chinese language books to add to our collection. These are gorgeous and I love the fact that they are contemporary Chinese picture books. We have many translations of American titles but not as many original Chinese stories. I am also very glad of the full English descriptions of the books on the website.

—Julie Rines from Thomas Crane Public Library

There was a little mouse who lived in a huge pile of books. He felt very lucky to live there, because of the many picture books for him to read. Take The Gigantic Turnip for instance—he'd read many different editions. The little mouse said that they all got the story wrong, though. According to his uncle's uncle's uncle, The Gigantic Turnip should have gone like this...

拔萝卜 双语1.jpg

拔萝卜 双语 1.jpg


Xu Zhou is an editor at China Children's Press & Publication Group and award-winning children's book author and illustrator. He started to create picture books at the age of 51. Two of his new picture books were published in December, 2016.

Adam Lanphier grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in East Asian Studies. He lived in Beijing from 2005 until 2008, where he worked as a writer and freelance translator. Adam currently teaches and translates Mandarin in New York City. He travels whenever he can.