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guojing the only child


by Guojing

Schwartz & Wade, Random House, published Dec 1st 2015.

About the story

A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But . . . home and family are very far away. How will she get back there?


In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy.


  • Winner, The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015

  • Eisner Award Nominee 2016

  • The Washington Post’s Top Three Children’s and YA books to start off the new year

  • Winner, The Wall Street Journal Top Ten Children’s Books of 2015

  • Winner, Publishers Weekly Best Top Ten Children’s Books of2015. Starred Review

  • Winner #1 on the Winter 2015-2016 Kids’ Indie Next List

  • Winner, Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Books of 2015. Starred Review

  • Exhibited at the Society of Illustrators: Original Art Exhibition 2015

  • ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book of the Year 2016 

  • Amazon December’s Best of the Month Spotlight Pick Booklist. Starred Review

  • Shelf Awareness. Starred Review

  • Recommended by People Magazine 

  • The Reading Interdisciplinary Institute of Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the Teaching and Research Office of UNESCO of Reading Discipline.

  • 2016 China Eslite Bookstore Reading Staff Awards【Most want to convince parents to buy books for children.】

  • Winner, The Weibo Children Book List Best Books of 2017. China

  • Top 10 of  The Peter Pan Prize. Sweden



“A beautifully drawn adventure that slips effortlessly between dream and memory, as if these two worlds are actually one and the same: that distant place where the heart and mind must always travel before returning home, to know what it means to be lonely before knowing what it means to be loved.” —Shaun Tan


“A gorgeous, quiet book, deserving of multiple reads.”—Gene Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, author of American Born Chinese, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award.


“The Only Child, evocatively, and without a single word, reminds us that we all are hopelessly lost and then joyously found, again and again, throughout our lives.”— Marla Frazee, two – time Caldecott Honor winner for All the World and A Couple of boys Have the Best Week Ever.


“Guojing’s luminous pencil drawings create a world of such sensory presence that now I know what it feels like to run my hand across the snout of a great stag, swing by an antler onto its back and soar through the air; or to watch in awe as a giant sky-whale dives down into a sea of clouds. A wonderfully dizzying journey.” —Paul O. Zelinsky, Caldecott Medalist for Rapunzel, and three-time Caldecott honor recipient for Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel.


ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book of the Year 2016: “An only child trying to find her way to grandma’s house becomes lost in an unknown world, but imaginative companions help her find her way back. A stunning wordless graphic novel that explores isolation and resourcefulness.”


Samantha Hunt, from The New York Times, was enchanted by this “dreamy, wordless debut,” lovingly illustrated with smoky, mystical-looking pencil drawings. “The dark current flowing underneath such lush imagery,” Hunt wrote, “is the loneliness of childhood under China’s one-child policy.”


Kathie Meizner, from The Washington Post, says “Guojing’s single palette in graphite black and gray suggests an old photograph come to life, while the story seems to come from a dream country reminiscent of Raymond Briggs’s beloved book “The Snowman.”


Meghan Cox Gurdon, from The Wall Street Journal, “With stunning monochrome drawings that eventually soar into the clouds, the illustrator Guojing evokes her own childhood in a wordless story that moves from ugly industrial surroundings to the consolations of imagination and parental love.”


Anchor 3

Rights sold:

Simplified Chinese language rights sold in Mainland China to Citic

Complex Chinese language rights world excl. Mainland China to China Times Publishing

Portuguese language rights in Brazil sold to V&R Editorias

Mainland Spanish language rights to Pastel de Luna

German language rights in Europe to Verlagshaus Jacoby & Stuart

Korean language rights to Media Changbi Inc

French language rights in North America Comme des géants Inc

Swedish language rights to Chin Lit

Greek language rights to Psichogios




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