Laughter and sympathy from Sana’s books for Christmastime

This festive season is also a time for outings and celebrations, and sharing fun stories in highly amusing books with family and friends. These are great ways to enjoy a merry, peaceful Christmas. This is probably one of the reasons why children and adults look for Sana’s books during this special time of the year.

Wu Jia-ying, whose pseudonym is “Sana,” is a popular online illustrator. She is especially liked by young girls and women in the 15-25 age group, and has published three books with illustrations and amusing anecdotes about her life, love and job since 2007. One of the books with stories about her and her boyfriend was even translated from traditional into simplified Chinese and Thai.

In her illustrations, Sana depicts herself as a cute, vivacious girl with short hair also named Sana, who shares what happens in her life. “I portray interesting and embarrassing situations in my life,” she said.

Her latest book is about some true events that she and her friends experienced in their offices. For example, there is a story of how the much-awaited year-end bonuses were replaced by non-marketable gifts of little value. She claims that this really happened in her sister’s company and added, “Then there was this friend who only got a single piece of decorative tile for her year-end bonus.”

Readers will crack up at Sana’s bright, simple caricatures locked in short, candid repartees, oftentimes punch-lined with rhyming play on words (in this case, Chinese characters). But they will also find themselves in her book’s varied situations. “I would like my readers to connect with what I went through and to understand that our lives need the encouragement of humor,” she said.

Sana lives alone in Taipei while her family lives in Kaohsiung. In October 2008, her father was fatally injured in a car accident as he took part in his company’s sports activities in Hualien. Though doctors tried to save him, Sana’s father died in the emergency room. “My whole family, especially my mother, felt devastated,” she said with tears in her eyes.

To comfort her mother, she stopped drawing and moved back to Kaohsiung temporarily. The short texts in her latest book were drawn from the encouraging, kind words she and her mother exchanged in each other’s company. “Those words helped us overcome our grief and regain courage in life,” she said.

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