The Silk Princess

Overview

Princess Hsi-Ling Chi has heard tales of a sleeping dragon and ancient gods residing in the Holy Mountains beyond her father?s palace. But when she emerges from the gates for the first time, she is not afraid. She has with her a magical thread unraveled from a tiny cocoon that dropped into the Empress?s teacup, and she knows it will lead her back to the palace garden. But she is very far from home when she notices that the thread has broken, and that she is lost. How will she find her way back? And will the ...
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Overview

Princess Hsi-Ling Chi has heard tales of a sleeping dragon and ancient gods residing in the Holy Mountains beyond her father’s palace. But when she emerges from the gates for the first time, she is not afraid. She has with her a magical thread unraveled from a tiny cocoon that dropped into the Empress’s teacup, and she knows it will lead her back to the palace garden. But she is very far from home when she notices that the thread has broken, and that she is lost. How will she find her way back? And will the secret of silk be lost forever?
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this version of the legend of the discovery of silk, thousands of years ago the Great Emperor of China has a daughter named His-Ling Chi. The young girl notices that a cocoon has fallen into her mother's tea. She takes the thread unraveling from the cocoon and walks away holding the end. She goes away from the palace into the mountains then across a bridge where a dragon attacks her. She is saved by the thread. But when she decides it is time to return home, she finds the thread broken and the way home lost. She meets an old weaver, who tells her that the silkworms have brought her to him with the thread he needs. He teaches her the secret of the harvesting of the thread called silk then leads her back to the palace. There the royal weavers follow her instructions to make a magnificent robe for the Emperor. They keep the secret for many years. Santore's remarkably detailed watercolors almost replicate traditional Chinese paintings of trees, rocks, and mountains. He adds many birds and an aggressive dragon with huge claws. The princess and other characters are painted with a sharper Western realism. On the double pages Santore depicts an adventure through the great gates, along twisting paths, and through encompassing mists. Unfortunately the engaging text is printed in very small type. A note adds information about the legend. Do not miss the contrasting front and back endpapers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5- Santore's original tale is an elaboration of the legend regarding the discovery of silk some 5000 years ago during China's ancient Middle Kingdom. The Emperor's daughter watches a cocoon fall from a mulberry tree into her mother's teacup and unravel in the hot liquid. Curious, the child finds that she can stretch the single unraveled thread through the palace grounds and up onto the nearby mountain, where she meets a very old man-a silk weaver-who tells her the secret of harvesting the cocoons and weaving cloth. Santore has combined paint, black and red inks, oil pastel, and colored pencil to form detailed double-page illustrations that are clearly the focus of the book. Variations of perspective add depth to his paintings; his careful choice of color and incredible detail in clothing, buildings and structures, natural landscapes, and a wonderful dragon add an element of magic. The tiny print size further emphasizes the illustrations, but makes for tedious reading. In several jarring scenes, certain characters' faces-emperor, princess, and old weaver-appear to be drawn from live figures while others are painted in the same Chinese folk style as the scenery. Despite the lovely pictures, this is a marginal purchase for most collections.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375836640
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/26/2007
  • Series: Picture Book Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.63 (w) x 9.66 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Award winner Charles Santore has taken an ancient Chinese legend and spun it into an original tale with an adventurous little main character for kids to identify with. His stunning paintings capture all the magic and majesty of China five thousand years ago. Charles Santore has received numerous awards. His A Stowaway on Noah’s Ark was an Original Art 2000 Gold Medalist from the Society of Illustrators. His illustrations are part of the permanent collections of the Brandywine River Museum, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Museum of Modern Art. He makes his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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