Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West

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Are you brave enough to face a whole host of dragons? Then this collection of fifteen fire-breathing tales is just for you. Your traveling companions will be soldiers, princes and princesses, village girls and shepherd lads, and even a kitchenmaid who juggles ... dragons? You'll battle a fiery, seven-headed dragon from Poland and test wits with clever, riddling dragons from Ukraine and the mysterious Eastern Kingdom. You'll laugh at a mischievous, shape-changing dragon from England and tremble before a terrifying...
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Overview

Are you brave enough to face a whole host of dragons? Then this collection of fifteen fire-breathing tales is just for you. Your traveling companions will be soldiers, princes and princesses, village girls and shepherd lads, and even a kitchenmaid who juggles ... dragons? You'll battle a fiery, seven-headed dragon from Poland and test wits with clever, riddling dragons from Ukraine and the mysterious Eastern Kingdom. You'll laugh at a mischievous, shape-changing dragon from England and tremble before a terrifying Korean dragon at the bottom of the sea. You'll even meet the very last of the dragons! These stories were specially selected by Marianne Carus, editor in chief of Cricket magazine, to create a treasure trove of tales for dragon lovers everywhere.

Artist Nilesh Mistry's striking black-and-white illustrations bring dragons from East and West swooping off the page and straight into readers' imaginations!

A collection of stories about all kinds of dragons, by such authors as Jane Yolen, Patricia MacLachlan, Eric A. Kimmel, Vida Chu, and E. Nesbit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a foreword by Jane Yolen, Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West, ed. by Marianne Carus, illus. by Nilesh Mistry, brings together 15 serpent stories set in, among other places, England's Nottingham Forest, the waters surrounding Korea and a seaside village in Japan. Contributors include Patricia MacLachlan, Eric A. Kimmel and E. Nesbit; most of the stories were previously published, the majority of them in Cricket magazine.
Children's Literature
Fire and Wings opens with an introduction by Jane Yolen. Fifteen new and traditional dragon tales, two-thirds of which were gleaned from the pages of past issues of Cricket Magazine, show how modern authors have taken the characteristics of western and eastern dragons and woven them into their own stories. There is a shape-changing dragon from England, a sea-dwelling dragon from Korea, a retelling of the Chinese legend, "The Fourth Question," and one of the last stories E. Nesbit wrote. Yolen herself contributes a story from her collection titled Here There Be Dragons. Other contributors include Geraldine McCaughrean, Patricia MacLachlan, Eric A. Kimmel, Gloria Skurzynski, Phillis Gershator, Carol Farley and Teresa Bateman. Nilesh Mistry's black wash illustrations at several per chapter contribute a lively imaginative air to the tales by drawing on the origins of the stories. The collection introduces some traditional motifs and characteristics of dragons and would make a good read-aloud choice to middle elementary-age children and their families, as well as a good companion to the many single tale picture book treatments of dragons, east or west. 2002, Cricket Books,
— Susan Hepler
VOYA
Drawn mainly from the pages of Cricket Magazine, this magical collection of modern dragon fairy tales is suitable for all ages. Gathering authors who range from E. Nesbit to Joan Hiatt Harlow and from Jane Yolen to Phillis Gershator, the editors span the scope of dragon storytellers from old to new. The stories alternate between tales of Eastern dragons from China, Korea, and Japan to Western dragons inhabiting Europe from England to Poland, offering refreshing twists on traditional dragon-tale stereotypes. There are no helpless maidens waiting for a prince to rescue them here. Instead, the young women boldly face dragons alone or with the men, taming, tricking, healing, or wedding the dragons as the situation requires. The male heroes are also unusual, including an injured Dragoon, a lone musketeer, and a mathematician prince. The most traditional tale, The Shepherd Who Fought for a Princess retold by Gloria Skurzynski, is an origin tale of Cracow, Poland. The closing title, Waiting for a White Knight by Teresa Bateman, is more a modern joke than a fairy tale story and is the antithesis of the traditional tale the name implies. With brief historical notes when appropriate and concise author biographies at the close of the book, this short collection is as close to a perfect introduction to twentieth-century dragon fairy tales as one will find today. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Cricket Books, 146p,
— Beth Karpas
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Fifteen stories about the ever-popular legendary creatures, many written by well-known and prolific authors such as Jane Yolen and Patricia MacLachlan. Readers will find many traditional folkloric themes involving loyalty, tests, and riddles. They'll also find some strong female characters, like the title character in Joan Hiatt Harlow's "Si-Ling and the Dragon," who overcomes the elders' view that girls aren't fit to rule a kingdom. A few stories are comic, like Teresa Bateman's short tale about waiting for a white knight-but is it really a princess who's waiting? And to do what? All of the stories were first published in Cricket, with the exception of E. Nesbit's delightful "The Last of the Dragons," which is the oldest (and freshest) of the bunch. A few of the selections are based on folktales, and Hildi Kang's retelling of "The Black Dragon Princess" seems to be based on historical fact, but there are no source notes. Overall, the writing is smooth and the black-and-white illustrations are skillfully done, with especially graceful line work. However, libraries that already own Michael Hague's distinctive The Book of Dragons (Morrow, 1995) might consider this a worthwhile but not essential purchase.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Carus's (911: The Book of Help, p. 950, etc.) storytellers draw motifs from traditional folklore wrapped around fiery dragons that are more enchanting than menacing. Each of the 15 tales comes from Japan, China, the Ukraine, Korea, or other exotic settings. There are tales featuring an unlikely shepherd lad outwitting a fiery dragon to save a kingdom; a fair maiden nursing a dragon's child back to health and negotiating the sacrifice of fish to appease the dragon and save a village; soldiers that gamble with a dragon for seven years of safety in return for the challenge to uncover the answer to three riddles; and a "left-over" dragon who finds a family and a name when he finds a baby in the woods. Carus chooses work (much of it first published in Cricket magazine) from notable authors such as Eric A. Kimmel, Gloria Skurzynski, and Jane Yolen, who know how to craft a story. The black-and-white illustrations, several full-page, are detailed and attempt to evoke the culture of each tale. The familiar motifs, exotic settings, and protagonists that demonstrate courage, cleverness, resourcefulness, and compassion make this collection one that will entertain and feed minds and the desire for dragons of all those who read or hear these tales. (Short stories. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812626643
  • Publisher: Cricket Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 146
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Dragons: An Unnatural History vii
The Dragon at the Well 1
Thoughts of a Drought Dragon 15
Dragon's Coo 25
Si-Ling and the Dragon 32
Skivvy and Cuttle 43
The Fourth Question 55
Nothing at All 65
The Three Riddles 79
Sim Chung and the Dragon King 87
The Shepherd Who Fought for a Princess 95
The Black Dragon Princess 103
The King's Dragon 112
Kotoshi the Dragon Doctor 117
The Last of the Dragons 124
Waiting for a White Knight 137
Author Biographies 142
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