Seven Chinese Brothers

( 6 )

Overview

Once upon a time in China there lived seven brothers who walked, talked, and looked alike. Each one possessed an amazing power all his own. But it is only when the brothers combine their special powers that they fool Ch'in Shih Huang, the cruel first emperor of all China, and save each others lives.

With humor and wit, internationally acclaimed author Margaret Mahy captures the courageous adventures of seven brothers who use their supernatural gifts to overpower a ...

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Overview

Once upon a time in China there lived seven brothers who walked, talked, and looked alike. Each one possessed an amazing power all his own. But it is only when the brothers combine their special powers that they fool Ch'in Shih Huang, the cruel first emperor of all China, and save each others lives.

With humor and wit, internationally acclaimed author Margaret Mahy captures the courageous adventures of seven brothers who use their supernatural gifts to overpower a cruel emperor. This ALA Notable Book features beautifully executed illustrations full of historical detail. "Exceptional."--School Library Journal, starred review.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In colorful language well suited to a story of ingenuity and valor, Mahy presents the Chinese folktale about brothers with amazing powers. Although the broad outline is the same as The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop, illustrated by Kurt Wiese (first published in 1938), Mahy's stirring retelling is very different from and just as good as the earlier effort. She has elaborated on the story, spicing it with more action and adding ironic humor. Replete with striking character portraits, the Tsengs' dramatic watercolors evoke the Orient and provide authentic, historical details. As in all fine picture books, text and illustrations blend, creating an inviting world for young readers and listeners and heightening the story's dramatic impact. Children will be caught up in the many narrow escapes and will benefit from the subtle lesson on the importance of working together. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- The seven brothers walk, talk, and look alike, but each has his own special power. When the third brother runs afoul of the emperor and is sentenced to be beheaded, the fourth brother, who has bones of iron, takes his place. The emperor then tries drowning and burning but each time a different brother foils his scheme. Mahy retells this traditional Chinese tale in graceful, witty prose. She uses classic storytelling elements to their best advantage and, without any attempt to imitate Chinese syntax, her choice of words gives a feeling of time and place. Both jacket notes and an editor's foreword give background information about the tale. Beginning with the cover, which shows the smiling brothers looming over a cowering emperor, the Tsengs' rich watercolors complement and enhance the story. With great skill, they interweave elements of ancient Chinese painting with lively pictorial storytelling. The emperor, encased in voluminous ceremonial robes, is an embodiment of corrupt yet insecure power, and the beautiful faces of the seven brothers, although alike, glow with life. Many readers will be familiar with the classic Claire Bishop/Kurt Wiese version of the The Five Chinese Brothers (Coward-McCann, 1938). The style of both text and illustrations is so different from the Mahy/Tseng book that comparisions are inappropriate. An exceptional new telling of the story. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590420570
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1992
  • Series: Blue Ribbon Book Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 97
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 166,344
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.06 (w) x 8.05 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author


Margaret Mahy (1936-2012) worked as a librarian in her native New Zealand before becoming a full-time writer in 1980. Beloved by generations of readers, she wrote over 150 books for children and young adults, and in 2006, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Award (the "Nobel Prize of children's books") for her contribution to children's literature.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A charming, family-oriented (pun intended!) tale of loyalty, faith and teamwork.

    Without being overt about, 7 Chinese teaches golden lessons to readers. Each on their own, the brothers would never survive. But by supporting his brothers and each offering his life to save another, they remain a close-knit family. The beautiful illustrations are just enough to keep your attention, yet encourage imagination. This is a must-read bedtime story for children and adults alike.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    Cult following

    I remember this book being so good that it had what some might describe as a cult following when I was in school.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Every child should read this

    This is truly a classic childrens book. I read this when I was very young and have read it several times since then. I bought this copy for my grandson. I am looking for a hardback copy for my personal library. My wife also considered this a great choice for children and I value her opinion on anything to do with raising children.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2002

    Excellent Book

    This book will keep your child involved all the way to the end!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2001

    It was great

    This book was great. I'm older now but I still love The Seven Chinese Brothers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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