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Bronze and Sunflower
Author Cao Wenxuan
Original title 青铜葵花
Translator Helen Wang
Cover artist Meilo So
Country China
Language Chinese, English
Genre Children's literature, Contemporary fiction, Asian culture, literary fiction
Publisher Walker Books Books (UK); Candlewick Press (USA)
Publication date
2015 (UK); 2016 (USA)
OCLC 974210264
Bronze and Sunflower
Bronze and Sunflower
Simplified Chinese 青铜葵花

Bronze and Sunflower (Chinese: 青铜葵花) is a Chinese children's novel written by Cao Wenxuan and was first published in 2006. The novel is set in the wetlands of northern Jiangsu province, China, during the 1960s and 1970s Cultural Revolution. It is a story of friendship between Bronze, a mute peasant boy, and Sunflower, the young daughter of an artist sent to a May Seventh Cadre School.

It has won numerous awards and commendations in China, and has been translated into several languages.


Bronze is a young mute boy, the only son of the poorest family in the village. Sunflower is a young girl, taken in by Bronze's family when she is orphaned. The story follows their lives in the village of Damaidi, highlighting family values against the hardships of rural life. It is one of a series of books set in the same region at the same time.


Bronze and Sunflower has been translated into several languages since its publication in 2006. Following is a list containing information about the translated works. Bronze and Sunflower is Cao's first novel to be translated into English. The translation was conducted by the British translator Helen Wang, and was published in 2015 in the UK and 2016 in the US. An account of this book's publishing history was published in Publishing Perspectives in 2018.

Language Title Publisher Publishing date Translator Reference
English (UK) Bronze and Sunflower Walker Books 2015 Helen Wang
English (US) Bronze and Sunflower Candlewick Press 2017 Helen Wang
French Bronze et Tournesol Éditions Philippe Picquier 2015 Brigitte Guilbaud
German Bronze und Sonnenblume Esslingen Drachenhaus-Verl 2014 Nora Frisch
Italian Girasole Giunti 2015 Paolo Magagnin
Turkish Tunç ve Ayçiçeği FOM Kitap 2017 Nimet Melis Çağlar
Polish Brązowy i Słonko Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog 2019 Katarzyna Sarek, Maria Jarosz, Andrzej Swoboda


  • Bronze and Sunflower, narrated by Ming-Zhu Hii
  • Bronze and Sunflower (English), narrated by Emily Woo Zeller


Year Award Notes
2018 Global Literature in Libraries Translated YA Book Prize Shortlisted
2017 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation Awarded to Helen Wang for her English translation of Bronze and Sunflower
2017 Chen Bochui Children's Literature Award Awarded to Helen Wang for translation and increasing visibility of Chinese children's literature
2017 Freeman Award Bronze and Sunflower won the Young Adult/Middle School Literature Award
2005 《中国报纸》2005年十大好书奖 Bronze and Sunflower named as one of China Newspaper's Top Ten Books of 2005
2005 台湾“好书大家读”年度长篇小说类创作最佳奖 Bronze and Sunflower won a "Good Books for All to Read" prize for novels
2005 江苏精品图书奖 Bronze and Sunflower won a Jiangsu Excellent Picture Books Award]]
2005 第十届全国精神文明建设“五个一工程”奖 Bronze and Sunflower won a National Five Unique Projects prize
2005 首届世界出版政府奖 Bronze and Sunflower won a 1st World Publishing Government Prize
2005 中国作家协会第七届优秀儿童文学奖 Bronze and Sunflower won a China Writers Association 7th Excellent Children's Literature Award
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