Publisher releases picture books on Vietnamese history in English

Ho Chi Minh City-based Tre Publishing House has recently released a series of colored picture books featuring Vietnamese history in both Vietnamese and English.

The series titled 'A History of Vietnam in Pictures' consists of eight books showcasing Vietnamese history through the periods of the Hung Kings, the Trung Sisters, Emperor Ngo Quyen, the Early Le, the Ly, the Tran, the Later Le as well as featuring three national heroes including Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao, and Nguyen Trai.

The series, which is part of the activities to mark the publisher’s 40th birthday, is intended to “match the standard of similar publications in the English-speaking world,” with the production team aiming for a modern yet authentic layout, as well as high visual impact, to be achieved through a sizable format of 19x24cm, hard cover, and four colors printed on thick paper. 

The English translation was done by the British-Vietnamese duo Patrick and Mai Barry under the requirement to maintain a natural style of storytelling in English whilst staying faithful to the original Vietnamese content.

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A supplied photo captures some pages of a book in the series ‘A History of Vietnam in Pictures’ released by Ho Chi Minh City-based Tre Publishing House.

The newly-released books are a facelift to a namesake original black and white collection first published in 1997 in the hope of developing a new approach for children's history books through pictures.

The initiative was spearheaded by the late scholar Tran Bach Dang and brought together a team of artists from the University of Fine Arts and University of Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as researchers from the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Social Sciences for a collaboration with the publisher’s editors.

The first book in the black and white collection was released in 2001, and so far 53 books have been introduced.

“We already had lots of Vietnamese history books in texts while there had not been so many books in pictures," said artist Nguyen Trung Tin, a representative from the books’ production team.

"And we wanted to do that.

“It was tough at the beginning, but after a long road we have been through with the very passionate painters, we now have a collection of Vietnamese history books in pictures."

Meanwhile, Tre Publishing House's acting director Duong Thanh Truyen expressed his hope “that readers who have loved the old series will go on to enjoy the color edition.”

“We also look forward to welcoming readers who are new to the series,” he said.

“Together we will bring the stories of Vietnamese history to more Vietnamese children, not just in Vietnam but elsewhere in the world.”

'A History of Vietnam in Pictures' can be bought directly at the publisher’s booth at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in District 1 or its official store at 157 Ly Chinh Thang in District 3, as well as other bookstores of Fahasa, Ca Chep, and Phuong Nam across Vietnam.

Also, the series can be purchased online through e-commerce sites such as Tiki, Fahasa Online, and Shopee.

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Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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