The Furry-Legged Teapotby Tim J. Myers
Yoshi the tanukia Japanese raccoon-doglearns how to magically transform himself into anything, even a teapot. But what happens when he can’t change back? This is the tale of the teapot-tanuki’s adventures, from the day he leaves his family to the day he meets the Emperor himself. What will it take for this teapot to become a tanuki again? Only the Emperor’s grandson knows the answer. Asian-influenced illustrations using vibrant acrylic paints bring the mythical tanuki to life. An author’s note is included.
Gr 1-4 - When Yoshi, a mischievous tanuki (a popular Japanese folk character), finally comes into his power to shape-shift like the others of his kind, he races off to play a trick on the farmer's wife. He changes into a teapot, not realizing that the fire under him will become so hot that he will be unable to concentrate sufficiently to change back to himself. Yoshi can only pop his legs out of the pot and run to seek help from the monks. They consider him a demon, however, and lock him away where he alternately appears to curious visitors as simply a teapot or a teapot with furry legs. For months the tanuki languishes in loneliness until word of the amazing vessel prompts the Emperor to pay a visit. The ruler remains unimpressed, though, and Yoshi stays imprisoned in the teapot until he is saved by a most unlikely rescuer whose insight will have readers cheering. McGuire's acrylic spreads place the farmer's hut and monk's quarters in a lush Japanese countryside with mountains in the background. The monks in their simple black robes stand in contrast to the Emperor in his garment of "iridescent silk," striding before a retinue of flag-carrying servants and onlookers in colorful kimonos. The tanuki is appropriately depicted like his namesake, a raccoonlike dog native to Japan. Myers provides source notes for his entertaining version of "the tanuki-turned-teapot" story, and readers will enjoy comparing it to his Tanuki's Gift(Marshall Cavendish, 2003).-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CTCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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