Gr 5 Up-Writer and artist Atangan transforms two Japanese fables into an organically serene graphic novel reminiscent of the floating picture style seen in traditional Japanese prints. The title story follows greedy but devoted Nikotuchi in his quest to rescue his estranged wife from the demon warrior Hoso No Kami. "The Yellow Jar" far outweighs the second story in literary quality and reader appeal. "Two Chrysanthemum Maidens" follows the plights of two blossom sisters who at first are mistaken for weeds. However, after they flower, overwrought onlookers separate them, and each in turn pines for the other's company. Atangan's lively drawings and keen sense of detail make for a potentially exciting read, but younger readers might mistake the graphics' muted ink tones as bland instead of exciting. Also, both stories' anticlimactic endings read more like morals than the traditional good versus evil graphic novels, which will no doubt disappoint teen audiences. Still, readers may be drawn to the characters' lively faces and the action sequences.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.