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Children's LiteratureThe Monkey King is an important character in many legends from Asia, including this version from China. When released from imprisonment by the Great Scripture Seeker, Tripitaka, mischievous magical Monkey joins him in his quest. Tripitaka has been sent by the Jade Emperor, Ruler of the Heavens, to find the scriptures written by Buddha that are somewhere in India and which will bring a peaceful end to the terrible turmoil in China. On their way they ward off many attacks and are joined by two other characters to help them in their quest. We leave them with many adventures ahead. Complex scenes rendered in tints of grainy colors demand careful attention. They fill the spreads, leaving spaces here and there for the abundant text. Costumes are flamboyant, gestures exaggerated, and the settings exotic; the illustrations create considerable excitement despite the lack of strong color contrasts. Monkey is portrayed as an appealing imp ready for further adventures from the jacket/cover on. A brief note offers introductory information. 2005, Tuttle Publishing/Periplus Editions, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz