The Chinese Book of Animal Powers

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Overview

What animal powers do you possess?

For thousands of years, the Chinese have believed that each of us is born with the characteristics and powers of twelve representatives of the animal kingdom, depending on the month and year of our birth. Now readers of all ages can discover for themselves the fun and wisdom of an age-old Chinese tradition in this exquisite book by celebrated author and artist Chungliang Al Huang.

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Overview

What animal powers do you possess?

For thousands of years, the Chinese have believed that each of us is born with the characteristics and powers of twelve representatives of the animal kingdom, depending on the month and year of our birth. Now readers of all ages can discover for themselves the fun and wisdom of an age-old Chinese tradition in this exquisite book by celebrated author and artist Chungliang Al Huang.

Find out which animal powers you were born with and which powers your friends and family possess. Discover how to absorb and adapt other animal powers into your own. Have fun pronouncing Chinese names with sounds that date back to ancient times. Feel each animal's graceful movements by tracing elegant brush calligraphy.

With a full-page spread devoted to each animal, a glossary of movement and art, and an easy-to-use year and month chart, The Chinese Book of Animal Powers is a unique introduction to the Chinese Zodiac by an expert teacher and philosopher.

Author Biography: Best-selling author Chungliang Al Huang was born in Shanghai, China. His childhood was spent in the rural countryside of southern China, where he learned the art of brush calligraphy and Tai Ji dancing. He came to the United States as a young man to study architecture and became a dancer, flute player, Tai Ji teacher, and Tao philosopher. He is the founder-president of the Living Tao Foundation, director of the Lan Ting Institute, and the author of many books, including the two classics Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji and Quantum Soup: Fortune Cookies in Crisis, and the children's book, The Chinese Book of Animal Powers. Mr.Huang now lives in Illinois.

Describes the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac with their strengths and weaknesses, and shows how to write their names in Chinese calligraphy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Huang (Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain, for adults) incorporates Chinese beliefs via an energetic and artistic tribute to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. When Buddha called 12 creatures together under the Banyan Tree, the brief preface explains, he "taught them about their strengths and weaknesses, then sent all twelve animals into the world to guide people in their growth, linking each animal to a month and year." Youngest readers may require some additional enlightenment for a few of the terms that follow (e.g., chi, power of creative expression, and tao, one's path), but all readers will likely appreciate the fact that Huang offers an unadulterated story here. Thick black brush strokes that seem to dance on the page outline one exuberant creature per spread, labeled by its Chinese name (Tswoo, Neeoh, Whoo, etc.), accompanied by its calligraphic symbol. Concise descriptions explain the characteristics of the animal as well as its relevance to the sermon under the Banyan Tree. For instance, the first arrival, Tswoo, "sometimes call[ed] a mouse, a rat, or a guinea pig..." represents the innocence of "The Beginner's Mind" in Buddhism. Joo (a pig), who arrives just in time for the sermon, is "a lesson in what the Chinese call the TAO of Being instead of Doing." Readers of all ages will want to use the closing chart to piece together their own characteristics (based on their year and month of birth), then profile all their friends. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Using a picture-book format, an accomplished calligrapher depicts each animal of the Chinese zodiac on a double-page spread and outlines the supposed personality traits of people born under that sign. The Chinese characters naming the animals are written in elegant black-and-white brush strokes, as well as the cursive letters of the English alphabet, using the author's own idiosyncratic, phonetic Romanization. Calligraphy, the foundation of Chinese painting, revered above all other Chinese arts for 2000 years, is the star here. In a "Dancing Glossary," the author connects calligraphy with whole-body movement and briefly explains related terms (chi, yin and yang, and tai ji). The text is as entertaining as a newspaper astrology column and just as slight. Ed Young's Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (Holt, 1995) and Eric Kimmel's The Rooster's Antlers (Holiday, 1999) tell different stories explaining how the animals were chosen and placed in sequence. Since Huang does not tell a story that will hold children's interest, this book is most useful for showing examples of fine modern Chinese calligraphy.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848190665
  • Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/15/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 984,521
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    This is a book worth owning! Beautifully written and illustrated

    This is a book worth owning! Beautifully written and illustrated by a joyous man in a fashion of simplicity, yet holds profound depth.....I learn something new with each reading. Many readings, many, "Ah-Ha" moments! Al Huang is truly a master! Young and old will enjoy his style of writing, the non-judgmental description of each animal's qualities and his free-flowing artistry. Each stroke embodies the animal, making them come to life on the page. I highly recommend this, as well as Chungliang Al Huang's other books..

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