The Painted Wall and Other Strange Tales

The Painted Wall and Other Strange Tales

by Bedard
     
 

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Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International’s Best Book Award - Language Arts, Grades K-6 Novels

Selected as one of four recipients of the 2004 Aesop Accolade

Selected by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association as one of the PSLA YA Top Forty Fiction Titles 2003


At about the time the Grimm Brothers

Overview

Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International’s Best Book Award - Language Arts, Grades K-6 Novels

Selected as one of four recipients of the 2004 Aesop Accolade

Selected by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association as one of the PSLA YA Top Forty Fiction Titles 2003


At about the time the Grimm Brothers were gathering their famous collection of folk stories and fairy tales in Europe, in China a similar collection of almost five hundred stories had just been compiled by the scholar Pu Sing-ling. Drawing on oral and written sources, he called his collection of the strange and wondrous Strange Tales from a Studio of Leisure.

The fruits of his life’s work become immensely popular with storytellers who performed the stories in teahouses, where rapt audiences would sit for half a day drinking tea and listening to tales of ghosts, fox fairies, and other wonders.

Almost unknown in the West, the stories are given new life in this important work by the masterful Michael Bedard.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Michael Bedard collects 23 stories from the Liao-Chai in The Painted Wall and Other Strange Tales, ancient stories from Chinese oral and written traditions. A Taoist priest teaches a stingy pear-seller a lesson in "Planting a Pear Tree." In "The Tiger of Chao-cheng," when a tiger kills an old woman's only son, the magistrate orders the tiger to provide for the old woman as a son would. In "Pianpian, the Leaf Fairy," a young man falls for a mysterious woman who makes clothes, food and even a mule out of leaves, and he learns the fragility of love. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Like the Brothers Grimm, the Chinese scholar Pu Sung-ling complied a collection of fairy tales told by the common people. Now Michael Bedard makes this wonderful compilation available to the American public. The work of Pu Sung-ling is described in the introduction to give a framework for the stories, then the brief but intriguing tales follow. This is a straight collection of tales: no common thread connects the stories together, but no thread is really needed. Not all the tales have a typical "happily ever after" ending, but each story is fascinating and beautiful in itself. This book would be a wonderful addition to any library of fairy and folk tales. The only negative is a lack of illustrations; this would be more accessible to younger children (typically the audience for fairy tales) were there some pictures to accentuate the stories. 2003, Tundra, Ages 8 up.
— Amie Rose Rotruck
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Known as the Liao-chai, these enchanting stories were first collected by a scholar named Pu Sung-ling a century before the Grimms began their work in Europe. Wildly popular in China but little known in the West, they draw on the supernatural or unusual to cast their spell. For example, in "Planting a Pear Tree," a greedy fruit vendor watches his wares magically disappear after he refuses to give a poor Taoist priest a pear. In "The Tiger of Chao-cheng," the featured animal takes care of an old woman whose son he had killed, providing for her throughout her remaining days, and then grieving fiercely when she dies. In "The Glass Eyes," a boy steals from a temple and must make amends when he figures out that his uncle is being punished for his deed. In "The Painted Wall," a young man finds himself in great bliss and in grave danger when he somehow becomes part of a picture. The stories are short and accessible to reluctant readers. An author's note provides a bit of history. Add this title if your folktale collection needs some interesting stories with an Asian flavor.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887767012
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
08/10/2004
Pages:
120
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Bedard was born and raised in Toronto. His novels include Stained Glass, A Darker Magic, Painted Devil, and Redwork, which received the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children. He has also written several acclaimed picture books, including The Clay Ladies, illustrated by Les Tait, which received the Toronto IODE Book Award.

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