The Seven Chinese Sisters

( 4 )

Overview

Once there were seven Chinese sisters who lived together and took care of each other. Each one had a special talent. When baby Seventh Sister is snatched by a hungry dragon, her loving sisters race to save her.

In Kathy Tucker's delightful update of a classic Chinese folk tale, each sister uses her talent in a surprising way to rescue baby Seventh Sister-and even Seventh Sister turns out to have an unexpected skill!

When a dragon ...

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Overview

Once there were seven Chinese sisters who lived together and took care of each other. Each one had a special talent. When baby Seventh Sister is snatched by a hungry dragon, her loving sisters race to save her.

In Kathy Tucker's delightful update of a classic Chinese folk tale, each sister uses her talent in a surprising way to rescue baby Seventh Sister-and even Seventh Sister turns out to have an unexpected skill!

When a dragon snatches the youngest of seven talented Chinese sisters, the other six come to her rescue.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While this updated version of the classic Chinese folktale stands on its own as a reasonably entertaining story, readers familiar with the original may find it watered-down. Six of seven sisters possess distinct talents that come in handy when a hungry, red dragon snatches their baby sister, whose talent has yet to be discovered. Tucker (Do Pirates Take Baths?) eschews the superhuman attributes granted each hero of "The Seven Chinese Brothers" in favor of more readily shared skills, from knowledge of karate to counting beyond 500 to making delicious noodle soup. Eye-pleasing patterns abound in Lin's (Dim Sum for Everyone!) vibrant, atmospheric illustrations, as in the faint swirl motif that textures the blue sky and the diverse prints of each girl's mandarin-collared robe. Lin adds comic touches (the dragon, clutching his salt shaker, adopts a foppish pose next to little Seventh Sister, who has been plunked into an oversize rice bowl); but, however amusing, they don't always jive with the text (the narrative opposite this painting reads: "They could smell smoke and hear the most awful roars"). Such incongruities lower the stakes in the story, but reinforce its perky, can-do tone. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Seven Chinese sisters, each with her own unique talent, live together happily in the countryside until one day a hungry dragon smells Sixth Sister's noodle soup and comes to investigate. Instead of a bowl of soup, he snatches Seventh Sister, a baby who doesn't yet talk, for his dinner. The other girls are off to the rescue, using their various skills, which, unlike the brothers in Margaret Mahy's retelling of the tale (Scholastic, 1989), are mostly down to earth-riding a scooter like the wind, talking to dogs, counting to 500 or higher, and so forth. They rescue the baby and promise to bring some soup to the starving beast the next day. This anemic-looking dragon isn't what you would usually find in a story set in China where most dragons are magnificent creatures that symbolize good luck and prosperity. Lin's bright and colorful illustrations add liveliness to the story. The seven siblings, in their dark-blue, patterned dresses, look docile in some scenes, assertive in others. Certainly they will keep this particular dragon in his place.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It was bound to happen in this era of feminized folk tales: a regendered version of what the blurb calls "a classic Chinese folk tale," though the only thing this has in common with the classic is the number of protagonists. The Seven Chinese sisters live together and take care of each other and each one has a special talent. First Sister could ride a scooter fast as the wind; Second Sister knows karate; Third Sister could count to 500 and beyond; Fourth Sister could talk to dogs; Fifth Sister could catch any ball; Sixth Sister could cook the most delicious noodle soup; and the Seventh Sister--well, they don’t know yet because she is so little and hasn’t spoken one word. When a terrible dragon smells Sixth Sister’s noodle soup, he flies straight to the Sisters’ house and snatches Seventh Sister, who is crawling on the floor. She utters her first word, "HELP," and all of the sisters use their talents to rescue her, returning home to eat the delicious soup. The dragon took Seventh Sister because he’s hungry--in fact starving--and the girls promise to return the next day with soup for him. The saturated colors of their blue dresses, green trees, and the red scooter and dragon create sufficient tension for the story and keep pace with the liveliness of the action. There’s a playfulness in the text as well as when Fourth Sister talks to the dragon in dog language. An entertaining feminist twist not to be confused with the original, this has strong female protagonists to help balance the rather strained story. (Folktale. 5-8)
From the Publisher

"A wonderful readaloud."

Booklist

"An entertaining feminist twist not to be confused with the orignal."

Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807573105
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 365,370
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2010

    5 Chinese brothers got company

    Old school Five Chinese Brothers get company with the Seven Chinese sisters. I volunteer to read to second graders every Tuesday.
    I read the Five Chinese Brothers and they liked it so I saw this one and picked it up. Kids dug it. I made up a sheet to go with the read asking the kids which number brother or sister they are and what super power they have. The book is simple but the kids enjoyed it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

    Cute little fantasy story

    My daughter loved the story of the seven Chinese sisters. She loved to talk about it every time she read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2006

    Seven stars if I could

    Young readers will live Seven Chinese Sisters. Like other updates of older fairy tales and folktales, the seven Chinese sisters is a politically correct version of an old story. The original story pit five Chinese brothers against the emperor (The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop, first published in 1938). The basics of the story remain the same: the unique, sometimes strange, abilities of each member of a group or family can help resolve a situation. The artwork uses color and pattern to highlight story elements. Each sister wears a blue kimono, but each with a unique patter befitting each sister¿s unique ability. The land is tranquil blues and greens, which contrast well against the bold red of the action elements: the dragon and the first sister¿s scooter. The story praises individuality and personal strength, and shows string female characters in a positive light. It avoids the stereotypes used by the original Five Chinese Brothers book, in which the brothers are yellow-skinned with slants for eyes. The illustrator, Grace Lin, is clearly aware of how to avoid poor stereotyping like this. The book lends itself to young reader class discussions and lesson plans, including exploring your own special abilities, or how other abilities might have also worked in this story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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