Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

Overview

To select the animals of the zodiac, the Jade Emperor has called for a race between all the animals.

Introduces the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $1.99   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

To select the animals of the zodiac, the Jade Emperor has called for a race between all the animals.

Introduces the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this intriguing picture book, Caldecott Medalist Young...retells a Chinese folktale about the origins of the zodiac....Complex and well-told, the story will hold the reader's interest."—Publishers Weekly

"Once again Mr. Young has brought ancient folktales to life with his stunning and, in the case of 'Cat and Rat,' startling artwork."—New York Times Book Review

"Handsome design and execution."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this intriguing picture book, Caldecott Medalist Young (Seven Blind Mice) retells a Chinese folktale about the origins of the zodiac. The Jade Emperor of Heaven invites all the animals in the land to participate in a race through the thickest part of the forest and across the river at its widest point; the first 12 to finish will have a year in the Chinese calendar named after them. Young focuses on Cat and Rat, originally best friends. But when Cat and Rat convince Buffalo to let them ride on his back across the river, greedy Rat tricks them both and wins first place for himself. How the other animals cross the finish line and how Cat arrives too late to be included in the zodiac explains not only the character of each of the zodiac signs but cleverly suggests how the enmity between cats and rats began. Complex and well-told, the story will hold the reader's interest. The design is even more striking: panels of white type on black pages are juxtaposed with dark, scumbled charcoal-and-pastel illustrations. However, Young's characteristically abstract compositions and the murky and sometimes frightening representations of the animals may be difficult for children to decipher. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this version of the story behind the Chinese zodiac, the Emperor challenges all of the creatures to a race through forest and river, saying he will name each of the 12 years in the cycle after the winners. Rat and Cat, the best of friends, ask the water buffalo to carry them across the river. In sight of the finish line, Rat pushes Cat into the water and jumps off the buffalo's back, coming in first. ``And that is why, to this very day, Cat and Rat are enemies.'' Young tells the story in lively, spare prose, and includes a chart of the signs and their characteristics. His charcoal and pastel drawings on dark blue and buff rice paper are elegant and full of action. Yet because of the somber colors, the pictures are hard to read, especially from a distance. Setting white type on black background only adds to the gloom. Monica Chang's The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (Pan Asian, 1994), a bilingual import, illustrates the same story with paper sculptures that are brighter but more conventional, and without a chart connecting years to animals. Clara Yen's Why Rat Comes First (Childrens, 1991) tells a different version, and provides chart signs and years with brief explanations of the characteristics. Since 1996 will be the Year of the Rat, schools and libraries planning Chinese New Year celebrations can use Young's title, although the shadowed passion of his drawings forms an uneasy partnership with what is essentially a light trickster tale.-Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805060492
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 498,881
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Young was born in China and spent his childhood in Shanghai. The illustrator of many books for children, he has received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor. Ed Young lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)