Journey of Meng

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Meng joins the ranks of strong female heroines that people the growing number of multicultural folktales finding their way into print. This classic Chinese legend chronicles the young bride's perilous journey to find her husband, a scholar who, like thousands of others, has been press-ganged into labor on the Great Wall. Her search ends sadly: like so many other conscripts, Wan is dead, his bones buried in a section of the wall. There's a touch of magic in the tale, and Meng's confrontation with the evil Emperor and her final, tragic act speak of her courage and loyalty. Splendidly capturing the story's poignancy and exotic locale, Rappaport's polished retelling is amplified and highlighted by Ming-Yi's subtly shaded watercolors--artwork as delicate as fine porcelain. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-10-- This Chinese legend concerns a faithful wife who journeys north with warm clothing for her husband, who has been conscripted to help build the Great Wall. There Meng learns that her husband was interred in the great edifice upon his death, but no one knows where. Consequently, she searches the length of it, wailing. Whole sections shatter and burst, revealing the remains of many. Meng pricks her finger and dribbles blood over them, shouting for it to penetrate the ``bones of my beloved,'' until just that occurs. Meanwhile the cruel Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi orders her arrest, but upon seeing her beauty offers her a position in his harem. Meng bargains this into a decent burial for her husband, upon the conclusion of which she hurls herself into the sea. Rappaport's retelling is very good, if a bit on the formal side, especially in dialogue. Yang's illustrations are nothing short of superb: ink and watercolors utilized in a pictorial yet dreamy way; ink washes are particularly evocative and effective. Like Hodges's The Voice of the Great Bell (Little, Brown, 1989), a classic of filial piety, this one of conjugal fidelity is intrinsic to traditional Chinese civilization; therefore, like Voice , it may not be well received in some quarters. Feminists will take a dim view of the self-immolating heroine; white-washers will want a less grisly bowdlerization. Yet this legend possesses a strength and beauty that is spellbinding. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803708952
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/2/1991
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 12.11 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003

    wonderful story

    i loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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