With 2019 comes exciting news from Little Launchers: our Chinese-English bilingual book series is now available for purchase! Last year, author Erica Swallow and illustrator Li Zeng signed a book deal with Economic Science Press, one of the foremost economic publishing presses in China for the publication of a Chinese-English bilingual series. As of January 1st, the series is available for pre-order—all orders will ship starting on January 13th!
Economic Science Press (经济科学出版社), founded in 1983, is based out of Beijing and affiliated with the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China. As one of the largest economic publishing houses in China, Economic Science Press is a national leader in book publishing in the fields of economy, science, management, and finance. We are honored to be among their many esteemed authors. As both the illustrator and translator and a Chinese national, Li Zeng played a particularly important role in making this bilingual project come to life.
The Chinese-English bi-lingual series is available for purchase from the publisher with a limited time 35% off New Year’s sale. You can also scan the QR code below to get that purchase started.
The series can also be purchased on:
- DangDang (当当): China’s largest online book retailer
- Tmall (天猫): also known as Taobao Mall, the world’s second-biggest e-commerce site, only next to its sister company, Taobao, also owned by Alibaba Group
- JingDong (京东): Another large online retailer in China
So how did we get here? In 2017, author Erica Swallow and illustrator Li Zeng self-published the Little Launchers series in English through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. We raised more than $20,000 in just 30 days, mailing out 1,100 books to 27 U.S. states and 13 countries. Since publish, we’ve won multiple awards and partnered with impactful organizations such as The Conductor, Economics Arkansas, and GoDaddy to bring entrepreneurial education to a wider audience of young readers. After launching on Amazon and conducting a speaking tour in China, we started to see even more inbound interest.
Through our work with communities interested in entrepreneurship education, we’ve met countless educators, parents, and entrepreneurs who wanted to see these books on a bigger stage. We were ecstatic when a San Francisco-based tech entrepreneur introduced us to the publishing team at Economic Science Press. We quickly felt at home with the team. Our editors — Xinning Cheng (程辛宁), Guoqiang Zhou (周国强), and Xin Zhang (张欣) — were incredible partners in the translation and production processes. The team was just as passionate about sparking creativity and entrepreneurial thinking in young children as we are.
“Finding creative talents in children and encouraging them to pursue their dreams at an early age is important,” says Guoqiang Zhou. “Parents have the responsibility to help their kids turn problems into opportunities and take the first step in life.”
We are honored to see these books available for more children. The stories of Sebastian, Gabby, Jason, and Rachel inspire us as creators, and they’ve inspired many kids—and parents—already. We get stories from all over the world and now we’re looking forward to seeing more from China and Chinese-speaking families around the globe!
Author and translator Li Zeng is truly a multi-faceted creator, from illustrator to book designer to translator.
“It was an honor that The Economic Science Press published Little Launchers Chinese and English Bilingual version,” Zeng says. “With strong support and a push from China’s policymakers on creativity, entrepreneurship, and quality education, Little Launchers is now opening a new door in China showing that kids everywhere can solve problems around them through entrepreneurship.”
This winter, Zeng had the opportunity to meet Chinese venture capitalist and technology innovator Kai-fu Lee at a book signing of his own. He encouraged Little Launchers to “Invent the future!” in his note. Zeng passes this wish on to all Chinese kids, saying, “I hope Little Launchers can help kids in China see it’s possible for them to ‘invent the future.’ I also hope Little Launchers can help parents in China see great potentials in their children and support them to pursue their dreams from early on. The most exciting part is Chinese kids can now be inspired through real kids who have already built their own businesses.”
Author Erica Swallow sees the bilingual offering as a means for supporting creative thinking and cognitive development in multiple languages. “A bilingual series enables kids from Chinese and English-speaking backgrounds to not only engage with the entrepreneurial aspect of the series, but also with the language and words they may not have encountered in a second language. As a Chinese language student myself, I am so excited to try to learn all of the Chinese in our books!”