The Magic Brocade: A Tale of China (English/Spanish Edition)

Overview

About the Author:

Aaron Shepard is the author of Master Man, The Sea King's Daughter, The Baker's Dozen, and many more picture books, as well as numerous stories in Cricket. His retellings of folktales and other traditional literature have been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society. He lives in California.

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Overview

About the Author:

Aaron Shepard is the author of Master Man, The Sea King's Daughter, The Baker's Dozen, and many more picture books, as well as numerous stories in Cricket. His retellings of folktales and other traditional literature have been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society. He lives in California.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This folktale is retold from "The Piece of Chuang Brocade" from Folk Tales from China, published in Peking in 1958. It is told here in both English and Spanish. An old widow in China made her living weaving brocades that were much in demand. One day, after selling her brocades in the market, a beautiful painting caught her eye. She bought it and made a brocade of the wonderful palace scene it depicted, working day and night at the expense of her health. As her son was holding and admiring it, a sudden wind came through their cottage and blew the brocade away. His mother's health failed immediately. When she finally opened her eyes, she told her son he must find the brocade, as she could not live without it. He set off on his journey, and met a woman who told him to take her horse, and that he would face two challenges to his path¾it was imperative that he not complain about the heat on the Fiery Mountain or the cold in the Icy Sea. He reached his goal and was persuaded by the lovely fairy lady to stay one day so she might finish her copy of the widow's work. Into hers, however, she wove her own image on the palace steps. The next morning the son took the brocade back to his dying mother. When they took it outside a sudden wind lifted the brocade and stretched it. Chen and his mother stepped inside where Chen was reunited with the lovely fairy lady, and his mother was pleased to become teacher to the fairies. Lovely, soft watercolors richly illustrate the dreaminess of this tale with cultural authenticity. The book has wonderful aspects, and the sum is greater than its parts. 2000, Edustar Press, $16.95. Ages 5 to 12. Reviewer:Candace Deisley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572270657
  • Publisher: Pan Asian Publications (U S A), Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Read an Excerpt

One day, Chen came in to find the loom empty and the widow sobbing. "What's wrong, Mother?" he asked in alarm.

She looked at him tearfully. "I finished it."

The brocade was laid out on the floor. And there it all was -- the palace reaching to the sky, the beautiful gardens, the lovely fairy ladies.

"It looks so real," said Chen in amazement. "I feel like I could step into it!"

Just then, a sudden wind whipped through the cottage. It lifted the brocade, blew it out the window, and carried it through the air. The widow and her son rushed outside, only to watch the brocade disappear into the east.

"It's gone!" cried the widow, and she fainted away.

Chen carried her to her bed and sat beside her for many hours. At last her eyes opened.

"Chen," she said weakly, "you must find the brocade and bring it back."

"Don't worry, Mother. I'll go at once."

Chen gathered a few things and started to the east. He walked for hours, then days, then weeks. But there was no sign of the brocade.

One day, Chen came upon a lonely hut. Sitting by the door was an old, leather-skinned woman smoking a pipe. A horse was grazing nearby.

"Hello, deary," said the woman. "What brings you so far from home?"

"I'm looking for my mother's brocade. The wind carried it to the east."

"Ah, yes," said the woman. "The brocade of Sun Palace! Well, that wind was sent by the fairy ladies of the palace itself. They're using the brocade as a pattern for their weaving."

"But my mother will die without it!"

"Well, then, you had best get it back! But you won't get to Sun Palace by foot, so you'd better ride my horse. It will show you the way."

"Thank you!" said Chen.

"Oh, don't thank me yet, deary. Between here and there, you must pass through the flames of Fiery Mountain. If you make a single sound of complaint, you'll be burnt to ashes. After that, you must cross the Icy Sea. The smallest word of discontent, and you'll be frozen solid. Do you still want to go?"

"I must get back my mother's brocade."

"Good boy. Take the horse and go."

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