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The Warlord's Puppeteers

Overview

Clever young Chuan and his artist mentor are back in this fourth book of the Warlord Series.

This time, the two are journeying across the desert to find their master, the warlord, when they meet up with a group of traveling puppeteers. When bandits attack and steal their trunk of puppets, Chuan knows that he must step in to help his new friends in order to finish the journey.

Using a melon and his imagination, Chuan tries to make a new puppet ...

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Overview

Clever young Chuan and his artist mentor are back in this fourth book of the Warlord Series.

This time, the two are journeying across the desert to find their master, the warlord, when they meet up with a group of traveling puppeteers. When bandits attack and steal their trunk of puppets, Chuan knows that he must step in to help his new friends in order to finish the journey.

Using a melon and his imagination, Chuan tries to make a new puppet so the performers can earn enough money to finish their trip through the desert. Despite his good intentions, Chuan discovers that he has a lot to learn about their craft, and he takes a few lessons in proportions.

With Chuan's resourcefulness and the puppeteers' help, the troupe is able to create all new puppets and put on the show that will save the day.

Children learn about creativity and compassion in a lesson in math that's as fun as it is fascinating. Directions for making their own puppets follow the story.

Praise for The Warlord's Puzzle, recommended by the
California Department of Education
"This handsome picture book will be useful for encouraging children to play around with geometry at home or in the classroom."
--Booklist

Praise for The Warlord's Beads
"The vibrant and unusual illustrations of Chinese pagodas, traditional robes, and characters' faces enhance this clever story. Children will not be disappointed in this sequel to The Warlord's Puzzle."
--New Favorites

Praise for The Warlord's Fish
"An interesting introduction to the Chinese use of both the magnet and the compass . . . Debon's stunning illustrations enhance the tale."
--School Library Journal

Virginia Walton Pilegard has been an elementary-school teacher. She dreamed up the Warlord Series to provide children with tales of adventure that illustrate mathematics concepts. Mrs. Pilegard studied elementary mathematics and completed a B.A. and an M.A. in education. She lives with her husband in the foothills of California's central Sierra Nevada Mountains below Yosemite National Park.

Illustrator Nicolas Debon was born in Nancy, France, and now resides in Canada. He has worked in the visual-arts office of the Ministry of Culture and for the cultural service of the Consulate General of France in Toronto.

Other Titles in the Warlord Series:
The Warlord's Puzzle (BookSense '76 selection, 2000)
The Warlord's Beads (BookSense '76 selection, 2001)
The Warlord's Fish

While traveling back to their warlord's palace in ancient China, Chuan and the artist to whom he is apprenticed join a troupe of puppeteers and Chuan learns about puppet proportions. Includes instructions for making a simple sock puppet.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Virginia Walton Pilegard's fourth book in the Warlord series, The Warlord's Puppeteers, illus. by Nicolas Debon, young Chuan and his artist mentor befriend a group of puppeteers. When bandits steal their trove of puppets, it seems that they will be ruined. But with some ingenuity and a lesson in Chinese artistic proportions, Chuan manages to help the puppeteers create new puppets. Debon's rough and textured illustrations almost make the characters look like they are "made from the finest camphor wood," like the puppets themselves. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-This title, the fourth in the series, evokes the atmosphere of a trading caravan from China's Tang dynasty. Young Chuan, apprenticed to an artist, meets a family of traveling puppeteers as they journey together along a treacherous mountain trail. When they are attacked by bandits, the puppeteers are left without their means of support, so Chuan fashions a puppet head from a melon. The puppet master appreciates his work, but he says that the head is too large. He explains that Chinese puppets should be about two feet tall, and that "The ratio of the head to the body must be one to six." A graduated diagram of the puppet's proportions clearly indicates the acceptable ratio. Chuan then makes a figure from a radish, with stick limbs. Soon the boy and the artist make other puppets, and other caravan travelers donate fabric to clothe them. When the group reaches a town, the puppeteers put on a performance and Chuan encounters his warlord, who offers his protection for the remainder of the journey. The impressionist-style paintings in muted tones perfectly complement the text. The messages of friendship, cooperation, and creativity, as well as the math lesson, make this book a good choice for group sharing and individual enjoyment.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The ingenious young hero of Warlord's Fish (2002) and two earlier exploits again triumphs while taking in a bit of math. When bandits carry off an itinerant troupe's chest of marionettes, Chuan creates new puppets from scraps of cloth and carved vegetables. As in previous meetings, Pilegard tucks in both cultural and mathematical snippets; Chuan's artist-master informs him that proper proportion of head to body in Chinese art is 1:6, and in a final add-on, the author invites readers to make, then measure, sock puppets of their own. The square-headed human figures in Debon's whimsical illustrations resemble the vegetable ones; readers will appreciate the humor, though the quickly told story definitely takes second place to the imbedded lesson. The exotic setting makes this an appealing alternative to Stuart Murphy's MathStart series. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589800779
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/10/2003
  • Series: Warlord's Series , #4
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 790,450
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Walton Pilegard wrote The Warlord's Puzzle as part of a teaching unit that uses informal geometry to strengthen students' visual learning abilities. Mrs. Pilegard studied elementary mathematics and completed both a B.A. and M.A. in Education. She then went on to teach elementary grades and in juvenile correction schools.

Nicolas Debon is a freelance illustrator in Versailles, France. In addition to his illustrations for the WarlordĂ­s Series , he is also the author/illustrator of several other books, including two Canadian Governor GeneralĂ­s Literary Award finalists.

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