YongSheng Xuan (1952 -      )

Chinese artist and illustrator YongSheng Xuan has been widely praised for his ability to bridge cultural gaps with a unique and compelling style. His illustration works includes the award winning titles The Laziest Boy in the World, written by Lensey Namioka, and Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend and The Rooster's Antlers: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac, both adapted and retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Xuan is also the author and illustrator of The Dragon Lover and Other Chinese Proverbs.


Xuan was born in Shanghai, China in 1952. As a teenager, he studies under famed Chinese sculptor Zhang Cheren. Xuan later worked as an art designer and professional artist, and eventually took advanced fine arts and crafts classes at the Central Arts and Crafts University in Beijing, considered one of the highest art institutes in China.

In 1981 YongSheng began contributing artwork to a variety of publications and magazines in China, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Since that time his illustrations, paintings, and paper cuts have appeared in Beijing People's Arts Publishing House, Sinorame Magazine, Cricket, and many other periodicals. YongSheng and his family immigrated to Canada in 1990. Throughout the 90's he continued to contribute work to Cricket, a North American children's magazine. In 1998 he illustrated his first North American picture book, Ten Suns, retold by Eric A. Kimmel. A Kirkus Reviews contributor call YongSheng's illustrations "magical" and "as richly crafter and detailed as fine embroidery on Chinese silk". YongSheng next provided artwork for Lensey Namioka's story The Laziest Boy in the World which also appeared in 1998. Booklist critic Karen Morgan praised the book as "both fun to read and visually appealing". YongSheng has continued his publications including illustrations for That Ghosts for You, The Story of Chopsticks, The Story of Noodles, and both authoring and illustrations for The Dragon Lover and Other Chinese Proverbs. More books are scheduled to be published through Cricket and stories with Sinorama magazine.


Born July 24, 1952 in Shanghai, China; immigrated to Canada 1990; son of Xing Kang (a civil engineer) and Bing Xian (Ting) Xuan; married Rong Rong Gu (a restaurant manager; children Feli.; Education: Attended Central Institute of Culture, QiDong China, 1970-73; Central University of Arts and Crafts, Beijing, China, Fine Arts and Crafts certificate, 1985-86; attended University of Regina, Canada 1993-94.


QiDong Arts Factory of China, QiDong, JianShu, China art designer, 1973-78; Industrial Arts Institute of China, Nan Tong, JianShu, China, master art designer and director, 1978-90; Burant Cabinet and Mill Work, Regina, Saskatchewan, woodwork designer, carving, and producer; 1990-93; Benchmark Mould Ltd., Windsor, Ontario, art director and master engraver and finisher, 1994-96; Ford City Business District, Windsor, Ontario, mural artist, 1998 - present. Freelance artist and illustrator 1981 - present.; Exhibitions: Solo art exhibition at the Art Gallery of Shanghai, China, 1985; exhibition at several one-man shows in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; art work for the Rooster's Antlers exhibition at the Society of Illustrators Original Art Exhibition, 1999. Member: Chinese Arts and Crafts Association.

Awards, Honours

Parents Choice storybook recommendation, Parents Choice Foundation, 1998, for The Laziest Boy in the World; Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, National Council for Social Studies-Children's Book Council, 1999, for Ten Suns.



  • Eric A. Kimmel, reteller, Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend, Holiday House, 1998.
  • Lensey Namioka, The Laziest Boy in the World, Holiday House, 1998.
  • Eric A. Kimmel, reteller, The Rooster's Antlers: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac, Holiday House, 1999.
  • (And author) The Dragon Lover and Other Chinese Proverbs, Shen's Books, 1999
  • Marianna Carus (Editor), That Ghosts for You: 13 Scary Stories, Front Street/Cricket Books, 2000
  • Ying Chang Compestine, The Story of Chopsticks, Holiday House, 2001
  • Ying Chang Compestine, The Story of Noodles, Holiday House, 2002
  • Ying Chang Compestine, The Story of Kites, Holiday House, 2003
  • Ying Chang Compestine, The Story of Paper, Holiday House, 2003


Contributor of illustrations and writings to numerous publications, including ShangHai People's Arts Publishing House, Beijing Esperanto Magazine, YuNan Science Magazine, ZheJiang people's Arts Publishing House, Beijing Arts and Crafts Magazine, Beijing People's Arts Publishing House, Beijing Traditional Arts Magazine, JianShu Traditional Arts Magazine, JianShu People's Arts Publishing House, Sinorama Magazine, and Cricket magazine group.