- Dashdondog JambaAuthor–Mongolia
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His entire life Dashdondog Jamba was dedicated to writing, translating and telling stories for children. Sadly, he passed away in June 2017. His first book, Smart Boy, was published when he was 17 years old (in 1958) and his last book was published in 2016, A Stone Thrown Up. During his 60 years devoted life as a children's author, he wrote over 100 children's books, 33 of those published abroad.
As a son of a nomadic family, he showed that in his writing by moving from one style to another, each time seeking a new melody and also a deeper meaning of words throughout his entire life. He wrote in many literature genres including poems, stories, picturebooks and non-fiction and also works for stage and screen. Several dozen of his songs have become popular songs among Mongolian children.
His works present a fullness of intellectual richness, creativity, and fruitful thinking and passion. His poems suggest their meaning in rhythms and melodies that match the words. His poem about a horse, "My Liver Chestnut," for example, makes children cheerful and give off a shine in their eyes as if they had grown up on horseback. Sounds of pouring rain resonate from his poem about rain ("The Rain"). His stories present thoughtful meditations and offer a sweet secret fantasy to children.
Through many of his stories, he has called for humankind to be peaceful and to care and respect each other, to love nature and the environment while introducing the wisdom and beautify of Mongolian traditional nomadic culture, not only to Mongolian children but also to children around the world. Examples of such stories are The Stone Legends; Ger, A Story of the Mongolian Felt House; Ysugchin and The Horse-head Fiddle; and The Three Fallow Deer: The Legend of Orion.
Dashdondog Jamba had a natural talent for making children happy. When holding a microphone on stage in front of them, he becomes a singer or an actor or even an artist, for he sometimes drew pictures illustrating the poems or tales in his performance. When he was asked whether it was difficult to write for children, he often answered: "Why should it be difficult. The writer is not me but a frolicsome boy who is hiding in me." As a visionary and passionate promoter of children's reading, he has traveled with his nomadic library 137,000 km for over 24 years across Mongolia. He brought books and told stories to children from nomadic communities and local schools in every corner of the sparsely populated country. Once, when he was asked at one of his sessions with children: "Why did you become a children's writer? He responded "Why did you become a child?"
Dashdondog Jamba is definitely a writer for children! His books, stories and all works not only make children happy and thoughtful but also contribute to making the world a better place for children and young adults. [End Page 28]