To Hoai
Tuyển Tập Văn Học Viết Cho Thiếu nhi - Tô Hoài (Collection of Literary Works for Children by Tô Hoài) including the author’s popular and less well-known short stories, novels and plays, has been released to mark his 100th birthday. Photo courtesy of the publisher

Tuyển Tập Văn Học Viết Cho Thiếu Nhi - Tô Hoài (Collection of Literary Works for Children by Tô Hoài) includes his popular and less well-known short stories, novels and plays.

The first book titled Truyện Đồng Thoại - Kịch (Children’s Tales and Plays) consists of a collection of stories depicting cats, chicken, dogs and monkeys, and two plays Con Mèo Lười (Lazy Cat) and Tích Tịch Tình Tang (Sound of Strings).

The book’s highlight is the short story Con Dế Mèn (The Cricket), which was later developed into Tô Hoài’s most notable book Dế Mèn Phiêu Lưu Ký (The Adventure of a Cricket).

The book, penned in 1941, is recognised as one of his masterpieces marking a milestone in his career.

The work has been reprinted many times, attracting millions of young readers. It is popular in many countries and has been printed in 37 languages, including English, French, Thai and Russian.

Since 1986, extracts from the work have been used in textbooks for secondary school students.

The second book Truyện Sinh Hoạt (Life Stories) features short and long stories revolving around children's characters, reflecting social issues and people’s lifestyles before and after 1945, such as Nói Về Cái Đầu Tôi (Talk about My Head) and Tính Ác (Cruelty).

The third book Truyện Các Gương Anh Hùng Cách Mạng (Stories of Revolutionary Heros) portrays national youth heroes during revolutionary wars, like Kim Đồng and Vừ A Dính.


The last book Chuyện Ngày Xưa - Một Trăm Cổ Tích (A Hundred of Fairy Tales) consists of 100 Vietnamese popular fairy tales which were rewritten by To Hoai.

The collection is published by the Kim Dong Publishing House.

“To Hoai is one of Vietnam’s greatest authors. His works contain lessons about life, love and humanity. Many generations of Vietnamese have grown up with his works, especially Dế Mèn Phiêu Lưu Ký,” said Hoang Kim Quyen, who has a seven-year-old daughter.

“It’s necessary to reprint children’s classic books to educate the young generation about Vietnamese personality, tradition and culture,” Quyen said.

To Hoai was born Nguyen Sen into a family of craftspeople in Thanh Oai District in Ha Dong Province (now Hanoi) in 1920. He held various jobs before beginning to write in the 1940s.

Apart from Dế Mèn Phiêu Lưu Ký, he is well-known for several works, including O Chuột (Hunting Mice) in 1942, Nhà Nghèo (Poor Family) in 1944, Truyện Tây Bắc (Stories of the Northwestern Region) in 1953, and Ba Người Khác (Three Others) in 2006.

He was awarded the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Literature in 2006.

To Hoai died in 2014. VNS

New illustrations celebrate To Hoai’s 100th birthday

New illustrations celebrate To Hoai’s 100th birthday

A new version of Dế Mèn Phiêu Lưu Ký (Adventures of A Cricket) will be released on September 25 to celebrate writer To Hoai’s 100th birthday.