To explain the markings on their faces and tails, Ming Miao tells her kittens the story of their ancestor, Sagwa of China, and how the kitten's antics foiled the Foolish Magistrate. This fairy tale is the inspiration of a new PBS animated series debuting in fall 2001. Full-color illustrations.
About the Author
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen Goda (TM)s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesettera (TM)s Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, and two childrena (TM)s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which has now been adapted as a PBS production. Tan was also a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club, and her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into thirty-six languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
Hometown:San Francisco, California and New York, New York
Date of Birth:February 19, 1952
Place of Birth:Oakland, California
Education:B.A., San Jose State University, 1973; M.A., 1974
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Why do Siamese cats have dark ears, paws, and tails? Sagwa is a pearly-white Chinese kitten who lives with her parents, Baba and Mama Miao, and her two siblings, Dongwa and Sheegwa, in the House of the Foolish Magistrate, who is in charge of issuing rules for all the people and animals in his province and makes a lot of silly proclamations. One day the Foolish Magistrate writes a decree that no one can sing until the sun goes down. He doesn’t see Sagwa perched up high on a shelf. After he leaves, Sagwa decides to do something about it, so she jumps down, lands in the inkpot, and gets ink on her ears, paws, and tail, but she also blots out the word “not” on the paper. When it is read, it will say, “People must sing until the sun goes down.” But what will the Foolish Magistrate do to Sagwa and her family when he finds out what has happened? When our boys were young, they occasionally watched the animated PBS series Sagwa. We even used some of the early reading books taken from the television show, which are credited to George Daugherty who produced it. One day while watching a segment with our younger son Jeremy, I noticed that it was based on characters taken from a children’s book by Amy Tan, whose name I recognized but had not read any of her books. Tan is well known for her adult novels, such as The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter. I like the story of Sagwa because, in addition to being a fun folk-like tale for youngsters, it exemplifies and encourages bravery in the face of injustice. Also, we are “cat people,” so it has a special interest for us. Originally published as The Chinese Siamese Cat, some editions are called Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, most likely due to the popularity of the animated show.
I watch the TV series and I even tape many of the episdoes to learn tips on putting together a story by the bestselling authors.The book written by Amy Tan should be considered a classic.I would like to see more Sagwa episodes on PBS.