Maples in the Mist

Maples in the Mist

by Minfong Ho, Jean Tseng, Mou-Sien Tseng
     
 
"These Tang dynasty poems, translated from the Chinese, were traditionally memorized by children learning to read. Ho tells readers in the brief, intimate introduction how the book grew out of her desire to pass these vivid four-line verses on to her own children. The poems are immediate and accessible....The dreamlike world of recognition and memory in the

Overview

"These Tang dynasty poems, translated from the Chinese, were traditionally memorized by children learning to read. Ho tells readers in the brief, intimate introduction how the book grew out of her desire to pass these vivid four-line verses on to her own children. The poems are immediate and accessible....The dreamlike world of recognition and memory in the watercolors is firmly yoked to the images in the poems."—Kirkus Reviews.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
You cannot help but feel linked to the 2000-year history surrounding these Chinese poems when scanning their mythical lyrics. Composed during the Golden Age of China, these poems reflect the peace and prosperity of these times when the arts flourished. It is no wonder that many Chinese children learn to read by reading these poems they are representative of the Chinese lifestyle. Now children of all nationalities can experience them. The vibrant illustrations, as well as the Chinese characters, surround each poem. At the end of the book there are short biographies of each of the authors, which provides more background about these ancient writings.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 UpA beautiful anthology of 16 short, unrhymed poems written 1000 years ago in China. Although the poems Ho has chosen reflect timeless themes and her translations are fresh and informal, most are too introspective for a young Western audience. An attentive fourth-grader might relate to "On the Pond," in which two boys foolishly leave a trail betraying their mischief, or "Goose," a straightforward observation of a paddling goose, humorously illustrated. But the metaphoric images of a rainstorm en route to ancestors' gravesites, an empty boat tossed in a twilight storm, birds in flight against the vastness of time and space, and even homesickness ("How can a blade of young grass/ever repay the warmth of the spring sun?") seem a bit sophisticated for pre-teens. In her introduction, Ho admits she memorized these poems reluctantly in childhood, coming to appreciate them only years later. Even young children, however, will enjoy the illustrations that complement the lean, moody text. The Tsengs' watercolors are reminiscent of traditional T'ang brush-paintings. Stylized contours of huts and pagodas, birds, blossoms, and children in ancient dress are set in airy, expressive washes of landscape, spring or autumn foliage, and mountains floating in the mist. Chinese characters printed in the right and left margins of each page are offered, unfortunately, without explanation. The three-page appendix, "About the Poets," is a useful lead-in to further research on the 14 men and their work.Karen L. MacDonald, Fairmount Public Library, Sandwich, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of tiny poems set against watercolors painted in the Chinese tradition.

These Tang Dynasty poems, translated from the Chinese, were traditionally memorized by children learning to read. Ho (Hush!, p. 227) tells readers in the brief, intimate introduction how the book grew out of her desire to pass these vivid four-line verses on to her own children. The poems are immediate and accessible: "When I was little/I thought the moon was a white jade plate,/Or maybe a mirror in Heaven/Flying through blue clouds." In "News of Home," the poet asks, "The day you left, was the plum tree/By my window in bloom yet?" The sound of a bell at night, the snow-white hair on an old man, frosted leaves "redder than spring blossoms"—these seemingly artless images compress a depth of feeling nicely reflected in the pictures. The dreamlike world of recognition and memory in the watercolors is firmly yoked to the images in the poems. More mature poetry fans will recognize many of the names here; an "About the Poets" section offers brief biographies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688147235
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.65(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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