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The Luminous Pearl: A Chinese Folktale

The Luminous Pearl: A Chinese Folktale

by Betty L. Torre (Retold by), Carol Inouye (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- An underwater Dragon Princess longs for a husband who is honest and brave. A human with the requisite qualities is discovered, but of course, he must be tested with a quest and yes, he has an elder brother just this side of wicked who also wants to win. Through his greed and selfishness, the elder refuses to help needy villagers along the way. The younger selflessly does help, and in return gets a superior pearl. In comparing this retelling to the original translation on which it is based, John Minford's Favourite Folktales of China (China Bks, 1983), readers may be left with the impression that this was written down for children. Unusual details of the original are omitted and hackneyed storytelling devices inserted. Torre, in choosing a handle for the unnamed Dragon Princess of Minford's tale, unfortunately lights upon the trite ``Mai Li,'' and the changes she makes in the brothers' names are not an improvement on the originals. Still, this is adequate storytelling, strongly supported and somewhat redeemed by fine illustrations. Inouye provides lively pastel and primary-color paintings to depict the undersea kingdom and mortal realm to perfection. The Dragon Princess is particularly well delineated with a wealth of facial expressions. Decor and details are mostly Chinese, with an occasional touch from one of China's minority traditions. --John Philbrook, San Francisco Pub . Lib .

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Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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