黃春明童話

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1993 / 7月

文‧林良


黃春明這次終於將他不知向多少小朋友說過的故事寫下來,一口氣出了五本不同故事的童話書。

擔任過廣告企劃的他,早年就注意到色澤豔麗的雜誌廣告和月曆海報是種好材料,於是賣力收集,如今把別人眼中的廢紙,一點一點撕成一百五十幅左右的畫,配合文字出版。

近年來黃春明經常奔走於宜蘭、台北兩地,為他的出生地宜蘭,組成「蘭陽兒童劇團」。現在從事兒童文學創作,在他看來這是基於一貫的理念,為小朋友盡點心力。我們特別請到兒童文學作家林良為黃春明童話作評,並訪問作者。


讚美一位小說家「很會說故事」,那讚美往往成為不受歡迎的讚美。這是因為我們對小說家所期待的,不僅僅是一個故事,而是那故事能不能呈現小說家「對人生的註解」。不過,我們不要因此以為小說家都應該捨棄他說故事的本行,而成為一個「為人生寫註解」的論文作家。小說家是用故事表達他的「人生觀察」的,會說故事,恰好是小說家的重要美質之一。

小說家動筆,小朋友有福

因為這個緣故,我們對於小說家黃春明先生的執筆寫童話,心中充滿歡迎和期待。會腐事的人寫童話,才能讓小孩子「有東西聽」;會說故事的人寫童話,才能迷住孩子,成為孩子閱讀生涯中最具吸引力的「彩衣吹笛人」。

黃春明先生為孩子寫的童話,包括五本圖畫故事書:《我是貓也》、《短鼻象》、《小駝背》、《愛吃糖的皇帝》和《小麻雀.稻草人》。

這五本圖畫故事書的文字和圖畫,都是黃春明一人的手筆。在兒童讀物世界裡,這叫「自寫自畫」。自寫自畫的兒童文學作家,在兒童文學世界裡被視為難得之才。

《我是貓也》這個書名裡的「也」,就是現代小孩子愛說的「F」。這句孩子話的意思是「我好高興原來我是一隻貓」。故事裡寫的是一隻因為不捉老鼠而被人看成「不是貓」的貓,後來捉了一隻老鼠,才令周圍的人感到滿意。小孩子讀了這個故事,會替那隻貓高興。

《短鼻象》寫的是一隻鼻子太短的大象,為了設法拉長自己的鼻子,不知道受了多少苦,可是鼻子還是像原來那麼短。有一天,他為了拯救火窟裡的許多生命,奮不顧身,用鼻子吸水,然後噴水滅火,累得死去活來也不敢停息。後來,火滅了,他發現自己的鼻子也變長了。小孩子讀了這個故事,會替那隻大象高興。

隨著主角亦憂亦喜

《小駝背》寫的是一個受街坊孩子欺負的駝背小孩。他常夢見一個叫做「駝背鎮」的地方,那裡人人都駝背,人人用和善的態度對待他。後來小駝背死了,死的時候臉上含笑,因為他已經快樂地住到「駝背鎮」去了。小孩讀了這個故事,會說小駝背好可憐。

《愛吃糖的皇帝》寫的是楚王、屈原、靳尚三人的故事。黃春明巧妙地把一段歷史改寫成童話。楚王成為童話裡的皇帝,屈原是給皇帝吃鹽的人,靳尚給皇帝吃糖。皇帝不顧身體的健康,拚命吃糖,並且趕走屈原。整天吃糖不再吃鹽的皇帝,弄得一身是病,終於悔悟,要把屈原找回來,可是屈原已經死了。小孩子讀了這個故事,會說屈原好可憐。

《小麻雀.稻草人》寫的是農人不許麻雀吃稻子,做了許多稻草人好嚇走麻雀。沒想到稻草人反而跟麻雀合作,幫麻雀「看著農人」。他讓麻雀快樂地吃稻子,一看到農人的影子,就通知麻雀躲開。小孩子讀了這個「想入非非」的故事,會哈哈大笑。

表現作者真性情

很顯然的,這些童話都不只是一些故事。小孩子讀這些童話,必定也會感染到黃春明對天地萬物的同情。這就是我們民族哲思裡的民胞物與。難得的是,這些童話,成人也可以閱讀。成人讀這些童話,感受到的是黃春明對人間的悲憫。

在這五本童話裡,黃春明使用的語言是對孩子說話的語言,這原來就是兒童文學的本色。有意思的是,他的「對孩子說話」的語言,都具有一種「黃春明風格」。

我們總以為對小朋友說話就要刻意用嗲聲嗲氣的語調,其實,小朋友自己都會覺得很幼稚。黃春明就用平日的敘述方式,只是儘量用淺顯的字,讀起來讓人覺得他做這件事非常認真。

五本書裡的圖畫,是一種「撕紙畫」。黃春明利用雜誌裡的彩色圖片作他的顏料,依自己的構思,一片片、一條條,撕下來貼在紙上作畫。你很難相信他竟能利用撕下來的舊雜誌裡有顏色的紙片,貼出一片星空、一片寧靜的景、一片綠意盎然的原野、一間農舍、一口古井,以及一頭具有質感的大象。這些畫,不只是一種「撕撕貼貼」的趣味。他用創作的態度對待這些作品,追求的是美感和生動。

〔圖片說明〕

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(鄭元慶攝)

相關文章

近期文章

EN

The Childrens' Stories of Huang Chun-ming

Lin Liang /tr. by Jonathan Barnard

Huang Chun-ming has finally written down the stories he has told to countless youngsters, churning out five different volumes of children's stories in one go.

Formerly a planner for an advertising agency, Huang noticed many years ago that colorful and attractive magazine advertisements and calendar photos would serve as good basic material for creating original illustrations. Taking great pains to gather these photos and art work that others saw as waste paper, he has cut them up and pasted them together into 150 collages that accompany the text.

In recent years, Huang has divided his time between Ilan and Taipei, forming the Lanyang Children's Performance Group in his hometown Ilan. Though his career has only recently turned toward the creation of children's literature, he has always been exerting energy on their behalf. We have interviewed Huang and specially invited the children's writer Lin Liang to review Huang's tales.


Being described as "a good storyteller" is a compliment no novelist wants to hear, because what we expect from a novel is not just a good story but one that offers the author's insights into human life. Nevertheless, we don't think that novelists should abandon their talents of storytelling to become writers of essays "explaining the human condition." Novelists use stories to explain "their observations about life." Being able to tell a story is one of the virtues of a novelist.

The writer's labor is the child's good fortune:

For this reason, we welcome and have eager expectations about novelist Huang Chun-ming's turn to writing children's books. Only if the writers of children's books are good storytellers will youngsters "have something to listen to." Only good storytellers will be able to entrance children with their tales and command the attention of young readers.

Huang Chun Ming's Children's Stories include five volumes of illustrated stories: I Am a Cat All Right, A Short-Trunked Elephant, The Little Hunchback, The Emperor Who Loved Sugar, and The Sparrows and the Scarecrow.

Huang both wrote and illustrated these books. Those blessed with these dual talents are highly respected in the world of children's books.

The "All Right" in I Am a Cat All Right is a popular phrase among kids in Taiwan. It connotes that "I am glad that I am a cat." The story is about a cat whose cathood is doubted when he doesn't catch mice. When he finally nabs one, the people around him are satisfied, and the children readers are happy for him. The Short-Trunked Elephant is about an elephant with too short a trunk. He endures undescribable hardship to pull his trunk long, but to no avail. One day, to save others from a fire, he uses his trunk to suck up and blow out water without concern for his own safety. Though dead tired, he doesn't dare rest until the fire is out -- only to discover that his trunk has grown long. Children who read this story are happy for that elephant.

Happy and sad with the main character:

In The Little Hunchback Huang writes of a little hunchback who gets bullied in his neighborhood. He often dreams about a place called Hunchback Village. There the people are all hunchbacks and all friendly toward him. Later, as the little hunch back dies, there is a happy expression on his face, because he has gone to Hunchback Village. When children read this story, they will sympathize with hunchbacks.

The Emperor Who Loved Sugar is a story about three people: Emperor Chu, Chu Yuan, and Chin Shang. Huang has marvelously turned history into a children's story. Chu Yuan is the person who gives Emperor Chu salt to eat, and Chin Shang the one who gives him sugar. Eating sugar at a life threatening pace, the king doesn't take care of his body and sends Chu Yuan away. Eating sugar all day, he falls ill. Finally he repents and wants Chu Yuan to come back, but Chu Yuan has already died. Children who read this story will sympathize with Chu Yuan.

The Sparrows and the Scarecrow is about a farmer who makes a scarecrow to keep sparrows from eating his rice. What he doesn't figure is that the scarecrow would work with the sparrows, keeping an eye out for the farmer. Letting the sparrows happily eat the rice, the scarecrow alerts the sparrows to flee as soon as he sees the farmer's shadow. Turning loose the imagination to run wild, this story keeps its young readers in stitches.

Revealing the writer's true feelings:

Clearly, these tales are not just a bunch of stories. When children read them they will certainly be infected with Huang's sympathy for all of God's creatures, which reflects the compassion for animals in Chinese philosophical thought. What makes these stories particularly impressive is that adults can also enjoy reading them. Adults that do read them will feel the compassion that Huang has for others.

In these five volumes, Huang uses the language of children, which is, after all, the language of children's literature. What's interesting is that it is still infused with Huang's own style.

We always feel that we should intentionally use a childish tone of voice when speaking to children, but children themselves are likely to regard it as childish.

Huang uses an every-day descriptive method, doing his best to use simple words, which make readers feel that he has been very careful in his work. The illustrations of the five books are all collages, which Huang made himself ripping up colorful magazine advertising graphics and pasting the pieces together. It's hard to believe that he could really be able to make use of paper scraps ripped from old magazines to create a night sky, peaceful scenery, lush greenery, a farmer's cottage, an old well, or an elephant that makes you feel you can reach out and touch it. These illustrations are interesting for more than just being collages.

Huang was very creative in making them, seeking after a result that is both moving and aesthetically beautiful.

[Picture Caption]

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(photo by Cheng Yuan-ching)

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