Little Inchkin

Little Inchkin

by Fiona French
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A re-telling of a Japanese folk tale, with paintings inspired by 19th-century Japanese prints. Hana and Tanjo long for a child. Buddha listens to their prayers - but the baby grows no bigger than a lotus blossom. French's previous books are "Rise, Shine!" and "Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone".  See more details below

Overview

A re-telling of a Japanese folk tale, with paintings inspired by 19th-century Japanese prints. Hana and Tanjo long for a child. Buddha listens to their prayers - but the baby grows no bigger than a lotus blossom. French's previous books are "Rise, Shine!" and "Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone".

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Little Inchkin, the hero of this well-known Japanese tale, is no bigger than a pea pod, but he has large dreams nonetheless. Taking a sword made from a needle and millet straw, and clad in ``armor of beetles' wings,'' young Inchkin sets off to make his fortune. After bravely protecting Prince Sanjo's daughter from two fiery demons, the small hero is rewarded by Lord Buddha, who grants his dearest wish--to be as tall as other men. Inchkin not only marries his princess in the end, but ``small or tall'' he becomes ``the most honored samurai swordsman in the land.'' French's ( Snow White in New York ; Anancy and Mr. Dry Bones ) economical and well-paced prose is perfectly matched by the brilliance of her full-spread illustrations. Her paintings, similar in style to Leo and Diane Dillon's The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks , recall 18th-century Japanese art. Like theater curtains, intricate right and left borders set off the center stage, where stylized figures with Kabuki faces enact the story. French's complex designs, especially of the dragon-like demons and the costumes of Inchkin and his princess, are dazzling without being overwhelming, opulent but never cluttered. The combination of elegant compositions and lush colors lends unusual depth. Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6-Issunboshi, here called Inchkin, is the Japanese Tom Thumb. After setting out to seek his fortune, the tiny man enters the service of a great lord, saves the man's daughter from demons, grows to normal height, and marries the princess. French's text is smooth and lively, but does not bring out the detailed delight in the hero's proportional paraphernalia that is so integral to the original tale. Also, Inchkin's parents' shame at his size and relief when he leaves home are interpolations that distort the story. Illustrations are bright, colorful, and largely inaccurate: costumes and buildings are most often Chinese; the princess's hairdo is rather Persian; and the demons are strongly reminiscent of the lion-dogs of Chinese acrobatic acts. Detailed borders framing each double-page spread are attractive but distracting, overburdening an already heavy design. The best versions of this tale are sadly out of print: George Suyeoka's Issunboshi (Island Heritage, 1974; o.p.), which has stunningly beautiful and absolutely accurate illustrations, and Barbara Johnes Brenner's Little One Inch (Coward, 1977; o.p.). Those titles are both far truer to the original than French's offering.-John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845072063
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
10/10/1995
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >