Asian Week, March 2, 2007
New Pig on the Blockby Angela Pang
"As the new pig on the block, Patty will give Babe and Wilbur a run for their money," says Oliver Chin, on his new book, The Year of the Pig.
Beautiful illustrations by Jeremiah Alcorn highlight Patricia enjoying her life on the farm with her parents. When Farmer Wu loses his jade ring, it’s up to Patty to help find it.
The book is the second installment of Chin’s children’s series, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. The series is published under Chin’s own publishing company, Immedium, and will feature all the animals from the Chinese lunar calendar, including the pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey and rooster, until he completes the zodiac.
"Every volume spotlights a baby animal who is making their way in the world, but can stand alone as an enjoyable reading experience," said Chin.
Immedium looks to publish books featuring Asian American characters. "It is important to increase our representation and voice in today’s media, especially among youth. As a third-generation Chinese American, I am consciously trying to introduce Asian characters who defy stereotypes," said Chin. "The Chinese Zodiac series makes Asian concepts accessible to everyone, and hopefully contribute to an improved cultural dialogue."
Chin, one of AsianWeek’s early cartoonists, penned the strip Asian Inc. from 1994 to 1997, and has written a sports commentary on Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, called The Tao of Yao, and a baby’s alphabet book called The Adventures of WonderBaby: from A to Z.
He has dedicated this year’s book, to his sister Pamela, born in the Year of the Pig, and who exhibits the same ingenuity and pluckiness of the heroine in the story.
"Aside from being a fun everyday read, The Year of the Pig shows how everyone can stand to be more open-minded as well as daring to do things beyond what others expect," said Chin. "The world is a big place waiting to be explored."
Chin’s next installment The Year of the Rat, is due December 2007, and he is currently writing The Year of the Ox.
His biggest fans include his sons Lucas and Eli, who, according to Chin have come to expect new tales like clockwork. They are Chin’s motivation.
"As my wife and I have read so many books to our sons, I know kids and their caregivers still need fresh stories of quality. I see room to create original characters who are entertaining and illustrated with a contemporary flair," said Chin.