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Title: 我的心中每天開出一朵花
English title: A Garden in My Heart
Author: 幾米
Year: 2000

I bought 我的心中每天開出一朵花 roughly one year ago, just after I arrived in Taiwan, because I wanted to have some texts to read that was completely unrelated to my text books and that wasn’t written for foreigners. Jimmy (幾米) is quite famous in Taiwan, first for his drawings, but now also for his poetry. At the time I bought the book, though, my Chinese was only good enough to roughly understand the meaning of the texts, but I had no means to really understand and appreciate the poetry. This has changed.

Jimmy combines a unique way of painting and writing with an intimate understanding of the world. His pictures are simple, sometimes cute, and always effective in conveying a certain feeling. His writing style is minimalistic (I understand almost everything he writes, so he really doesn’t use fancy language), but yet profound. With these two tools, he tells stories in the form of poems, stories about life, able to communicate keen insights with just a handful of characters. It’s difficult to explain why I like this book so much, because I would need to reproduce pictures and poems (with a translation to English). However, doing a quick search on Google, you can at least see what his pictures look like.

I often complain about books being wordy and authors not knowing when they’re overdoing something, but in this case, there is nothing to criticise. Jimmy is a writer who can use simple means to convey deep insights into human nature, something I envy and admire. In short, this book is brilliant and I will definitely read more (and re-read this one, for that matter). If you’re studying Chinese, try to pick up 我的心中每天開出一朵花 (or any other book by Jimmy) whenever you feel like it, because it will give something to everyone, from the extreme beginner to the native speaker.

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