Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu

Overview

From the Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator of Mirette on the Highwire, comes this dramatic, multi-layered story of two legendary women warriors, Wu Mei, the "beautiful warrior", and her most famous pupil, Mingyi.

Tells the story of two unlikely kung fu masters and how their skill in martial arts saves them both.

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Overview

From the Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator of Mirette on the Highwire, comes this dramatic, multi-layered story of two legendary women warriors, Wu Mei, the "beautiful warrior", and her most famous pupil, Mingyi.

Tells the story of two unlikely kung fu masters and how their skill in martial arts saves them both.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
With a name like Jingyong, 'Quiet Courage,' how could the heroine of this story possibly grow up quiet and quiescent at court? So despite her mother's worries ("Who will marry an educated woman?") it is decided that she must find her own path. Find it she does. Her path leads to the Shaolin monastery. Under the tutelage of a wise nun, the girl learns to still her mind, harness her qi, and summon strength when she needs it. In the end, she decides her own destiny. An author's note provides fascinating material on the background to kung fu.
School Library Journal
The story of two legendary female kung fu masters who may have lived in the last part of the 17th century. The first, Wu Mei, born to an aristocratic family, was educated like a boy and excelled at martial arts. Made homeless by the overthrow of the last Ming emperor (1644), the young woman finds her way to the Shaolin Monastery, made famous in television and movies. She convinces the monks to continue her training and becomes a nun and renowned teacher of kung fu. After she rescues the scatterbrained daughter of a bean-curd seller from thieves, the girl begs for her help in escaping a forced marriage to a local thug. Wu Mei advises Mingyi to postpone the wedding for a year, promising the odious would-be groom that she will marry him only if he can best her at kung fu. The year is long enough for a crash course, focusing on the development and use of qi, or vital energy. As she studies, Mingyi develops into a calm, sturdy young woman who gains her freedom. McCully steeped herself in Chinese painting, but develops her own fresh interpretation of classic Chinese art. She alternates a format of using succeeding frames with double-page spreads that evoke the sweep of Chinese scroll paintings. The last scenes, depicting the climactic fight, show that the result of Mingyi's self-mastery is not lost on the young girls of the village. Celebrating discipline and inner strength while retelling legends connected with styles of kung fu, this story authentically re-creates a period of Chinese history and gives readers not one but two lively heroines. -- Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, Massachusetts
Emily Arnold McCully
...[A]n afterward...summarizes the legendary history of kung fu with yin-beats-yang Asian girl-power fare.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590374873
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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