Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam

Overview

Legend has it that more than four thousand years ago a mighty dragon prince named Lac Long Quan married a fairy princess named Au Co. From these parents the Vietnamese people were born.
With power, humor, and grace, Sherry Garland has researched and retold some of her favorite folktales of Vietnam. Passed down through the ages as both a means of instruction and entertainment, these colorful stories depict heroes, ancient kings, famous battles, and tribal customs. They are simple...
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Overview

Legend has it that more than four thousand years ago a mighty dragon prince named Lac Long Quan married a fairy princess named Au Co. From these parents the Vietnamese people were born.
With power, humor, and grace, Sherry Garland has researched and retold some of her favorite folktales of Vietnam. Passed down through the ages as both a means of instruction and entertainment, these colorful stories depict heroes, ancient kings, famous battles, and tribal customs. They are simple tales about the origins of plants, animals, and other natural phenomena-and yet they illuminate profound truths about humility, generosity, and compassion.
Award-winning illustrator Trina Schart Hyman brings these wonderfully entertaining and vividly detailed stories new life-her vibrant colors and stunning images dance from the pages in an introduction to the folktales of Vietnam that is nothing less than masterful.

Sherry Garland has long been fascinated with the Vietnamese people and their country, which she has had the opportunity to visit firsthand. Back home in Texas, she has worked with Vietnamese immigrants in the Houston area for many years. Garland has written thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including seven focused on Vietnamese culture. She has published five other books with Pelican: Voices of the Dust Bowl, Voices of the Alamo, Voices of Gettysburg, Best Horse on the Force, and The Buffalo Soldier. Garland lives with her husband in central Texas.

The late Trina Schart Hyman illustrated children's books for more than three decades. Her paintings have enriched a wide range of literature. She received the Caldecott Medal for her stirringly romantic illustrations for Saint George and the Dragon, adapted by Margaret Hodges, and she was awarded three Caldecott Honors. Hyman passed away in 2004.

An illustrated collection of Vietnamese folktales with explantory notes following each story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Once upon a time in old Vietnam," begins "The Raven and the Star Fruit," exemplifying the spell of enchantment cast over these half dozen stories. If the setting is exotic with its banyan trees and lotus blossoms, water buffalo and tigers the classic themes are universal. They include talking animals and beautiful princesses, requited and unrequited love as well as familiar human flaws. For instance, in the above-mentioned tale a raven rewards the generosity of a poor couple by leading them to an island of treasures, while the same opportunity has disastrous results for the husband's foolish elder brother and his greedy wife. Garland (Shadow of the Dragon) places each story within its historical, geographical and cultural context, enriching readers' understanding of Vietnam and its people. "The Legend of the Monsoon Rains" recounts the ongoing dispute between the Lord of the Mountains and the Lord of the Seas for the hand of the emperor's daughter followed by a discussion of Vietnam's crops and weather; the tale of "The Boatman's Flute" highlights the country's transportation and governmental systems. Hyman (A Child's Calendar) complements the richly embroidered retellings with jewel-like India ink and acrylic illustrations. From the fluid pattern of stripes on a tiger's back (for a pourquoi tale) to the dark sweep of a maiden's hair and lissome bend of a willow branch, the artist applies her signature flowing lines and graceful artistry; she captures all the romance and beauty of the stories and their setting. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This handsome volume gathers six well-told traditional tales not readily available elsewhere. Three legends explain the origins of the stripes on a tiger, the man in the moon, and Vietnam's wild monsoons. Three others address the consequences of unkind and rude acts. A proud princess rejects a boatman whose music has stirred her heart because he is poor and ugly. A greedy brother and a lazy sister come to a bad end when they try to replicate the good fortune gained by their generous, polite siblings. An introduction outlines the history of Vietnam, highlighting traditional literature and language. Long notes at the end of each story relate events and characters to aspects of Vietnamese culture. However, it must be noted that while Garland provides useful information, she does not give specific source notes. Libraries may already own The Brocaded Slipper (HarperTrophy, 1992) and The Golden Carp (Lothrop, 1993; o.p.), in which Lynette Dyer Vuong employs the techniques of fiction-dialogue and vividly described action-to retell her Vietnamese tales and provides specific sources and pertinent background information. Garland makes greater use of narration. Her offering is greatly enhanced by Hyman's strong color work, romantic sensibility, and dramatic characterizations. The artist contributes decorations, as well as half- and full-page illustrations for each story. With so few collections of Vietnamese folktales available, libraries in need of Southeast Asian folklore could overlook the lack of source notes and value this lovely new collection for its smooth writing and appealing format.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455617098
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/14/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 410,093
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherry Garland has written thirty books and won more than forty awards, including an ALA Notable and a Reading Rainbow book selection. She enjoys writing about history and created her Voices Series to bring a personal note to pivotal moments in America's past. The series includes Voices of the Dust Bowl, Voices of Gettysburg, and Voices of the Alamo. Her other titles include Best Horse on the Force, The Buffalo Soldier, and Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam, available from Pelican. Garland is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in central Texas.

Trina Schart Hyman illustrated children's books for more than three decades. Her paintings have enriched a wide range of literature. She received the Caldecott Medal for her romantic illustrations for Saint George and the Dragon, along with three additional Caldecott Honors during her lifetime. Hyman passed away in 2004.

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