Wishbones: A Folk Tale from China

Wishbones: A Folk Tale from China

by Barbara Ker Wilson, Meilo So
     
 

Wishbones, magic fishbones that make every dream come true... From south of the clouds comes this Asian fable, weaving riches and sorrows into the enchanted tale of a golden-eyed fish, a lost slipper, and a king's search for his bride.  See more details below

Overview

Wishbones, magic fishbones that make every dream come true... From south of the clouds comes this Asian fable, weaving riches and sorrows into the enchanted tale of a golden-eyed fish, a lost slipper, and a king's search for his bride.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Another version of the Chinese Cinderella story. . . . Wilson's retelling is clever, as is her chosen title, and reads aloud well. . . . Children will delight in this clever retelling and be dazzled by the truly splendid illustrations." — School Library Journal

"A sophisticated, powerful re-imagining of an often overprettified tale." — Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The canon of ethnic Cinderella stories expands yet again to include this cursory retelling of the Chinese version, featuring motherless maiden Yeh Hsien and her magic fish. Comparisons with Yeh-Shen , the richly detailed interpretation penned by Ai-Ling Louie and graced by Ed Young's ethereal pastels, however, are inevitable and unfortunate. Wilson's choppy abridgement stresses the story's barest, generic elements--stepmother, stepdaughter, lost slipper, prince--in the process sacrificing its cultural and ethnic nuances. The resulting narration is lifeless (``She went to the pond and called to the fish. The fish, believing it was Yeh Hsien standing there, leapt from the water and laid its head on the bank'') and occasionally inept (``Yeh Hsien moved the fish into the pond that lay close-by the cave''). Elements of ``The Fisherman and His Wife'' further confuse the text. So's ( The Emperor and the Nightingale ) exuberant use of color is impressive, although her busy scenes and slightly skewed proportions lend the tale an incongruous air of humor. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
A Chinese folk tale, this is one of the oldest versions of the Cinderella story. Yeh Hsien is mistreated by her stepmother, but finds solace in the friendship of a red fish with golden eyes. The stepmother tricks Yeh Hsien and kills the fish, but Yeh Hsien soon discovers that the fish bones hold magic. Whatever she wishes for will become her including a lovely violet gown and slippers to wear to the Cave Festival. A lost slipper and a lonely king eventually bring Yeh Hsien to a new life in the palace. Vibrant, colorful paintings enhance the story.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This is a picture book version of the Chinese Cinderella. The title refers to the magic fish who is cruelly killed by Yeh Hsien's stepmother but the girl discovers that those bones will grant her every wish. The illustrations depict the text yet provide room for children's imagination. This is a good version for primary grades.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-Another version of the Chinese Cinderella story that will be familiar to readers of Al-Ling Louie's Yeh Shen (Philomel, 1990). The story comes from aboriginal tribes in the area of Yongzhou in what is now Guangxi province, and was first redacted by the Tang Dynasty scholar Duan Cheng-shi in the mid-800s. Besides the obligatory stepmother and stepsister, Yeh Hsien (as romanized here) has a pet fish as a wise confidant. The stepmother secretly kills and eats it, but a spirit tells Yeh Hsien where to find the bones, which turn out to be magic, laying the groundwork for the happy ending. Wilson's retelling is clever, as is her chosen title, and reads aloud well. More details are included, such as Yeh Hsien's new husband wearing out the bones's magic, without impairing the tale's momentum. So's magical watercolor illustrations are bright, vibrant, and droll. The stepmother and stepsister often mirror each other's actions with comic effect. The free, folksy style draws on Chinese and non-Han motifs, being influenced as well by modern Chinese masters, notably Qi Bai-shi. Children will delight in this clever retelling and be dazzled by the truly splendid illustrations.-John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845079383
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
883,327
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Another version of the Chinese Cinderella story. . . . Wilson's retelling is clever, as is her chosen title, and reads aloud well. . . . Children will delight in this clever retelling and be dazzled by the truly splendid illustrations." — School Library Journal

"A sophisticated, powerful re-imagining of an often overprettified tale." — Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Barbara Ker Wilson is a well-known reviewer, writer and publisher, with a long-standing interest in folklore. She now lives in Australia.

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