18 February 2016 by Suyen Hu
No sooner had we met Ruth at the coffee shop than she couldn’t wait to tell us that she heard about us from our Chinese New Year interview on BBC Radio Oxford. Unfortunately she was driving in traffic and she only heard the last five minutes, and didn’t get our names at all. She said she was so touched by our ideas of reviving the lost Chinese wisdom and culture of China, but it was very hard for her to look for us with the very limited information she got.
She heard we studied at Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, so she phoned Oxford Brookes to enquire about two Chinese authors who might write books on traditional Chinese stories. She drew a blank there because Brookes connected her with the wrong department. Next she went to Waterstones and then to Blackwell’s to ask about children’s books published by two Chinese ladies, but they couldn’t help because she didn’t know our books were produced under our name Snowflake Books.
It’s going to be complicated, she thought, but she must have been a very determined lady because next she phoned BBC Radio Oxford, though she knew those people must be very busy and might not take the trouble to help her find us.
Ruth was pleasantly surprised to find the staff at BBC Radio Oxford were very helpful and kind. They looked out the information she wanted and passed on our names and website. After a whole week’s effort, she finally found us and hoped now she would be able to look at our books in person, but she was not quite sure we would agree to see her as a stranger.
So it was good that we were happy to make an appointment to meet Ruth this morning!
In fact we were extremely touched when Ruth told us the whole story. She showed genuine fondness for our books and an appreciation of their high quality and rich content. In her own words she told us the books are not just beautiful, but they have everything she loves: the subtle depth, the illustrations, the colours, and colour coding and the language. She understood instantly what effort and devotion we have given to creating our books. As so often, we felt very supported and encouraged in the UK by the open-mindedness, friendliness and insatiable desire of people to know more about different places and cultures.