The emperor sets a nearly impossible task to decide which of his two sons should next rule Japan. Is Tozaemon brave enough to seize the five eternal elements from the demons that guard them and is Toemon wise enough to know how to use the elements once he has them?
|Product dimensions:||10.56(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)|
|Age Range:||3 - 8 Years|
About the Author
David Wisniewski passed away in his sleep, from an unknown illness, on September 11, 2002. Born in 1953, he had all-too-brief a life and leaves behind his lovely wife, Donna, and their two children, Ariana and Alexander.
Just this week David had seen the finished books for Halloweenies, and he was so happy with how it turned out.
He will, of course, be remembered as the 1997 Caldecott Medalist for his 6th book, The Golem. But perhaps even more, he'll be known for his off-beat postmodern humor, seen in Tough Cookie, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups, and Halloweenies. Everyone who knew him loved his wit and his vibrancy; he was also quite an inspirational speaker. We will miss him.
In His Own Words:
My mom taught me to draw in first grade. Nothing fancy. Just how to put circles and ovals together for form "bubble men." It was a wonderful introduction to drawing and a terrific gateway to action and proportion. But third grade, I was one of the class artists.
That's when I started reading comic books, especialy the Marvel superheroes created by Stan Lee. My sketchpads became full of The Fantastic Four, Spider-man, The Mighty Thor, and X-Men. Comic books were also my first introduction to dynamic storytelling. Nothing's more dramatic than colossal struggles between good and evil with entire galaxies at stake!
This enthusiasm led directly to Classic Comics, simplified versions of fantasy masterpieces like Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. It wasn't long before I became an avid reader, willing to tackle the work of Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and A.E. van Vogt.
During high school I became interested in the performing arts as well as the visual When I couldn't afford more than one semester of college, I signed up for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. After training for two months, I clowned with Ringling for two seasons (1973-74), then performed with the country's largest tent show, Circus Vargas, in 1975.
After the circus, I was hired by my future wife, Donna, to perform with a puppet theatre. We married in 1976 and started our own company, Clarion Shadow Theatre, in 1980. Shadow puppetry was our specialty, wherein flat, jointed figures move against a screen illuminated with rear-projected scenery. Although I didn't know it at the time, shadow puppetry trained me to do picture books. Cutting out shadow puppets and projected scenery taught me how to use an X-Acto knife. The shadow screen was the same shape as an open book. Adapting legends and folktales into scripts taught me how to write.
When our chidren - Ariana and Alexander - were born, touring became impossible, so I adapted my cutting skills to illustration. After four years of freelancing for newspapers and magazines, I created my first picture book. The Warrior and the Wise Man (1989) looks very much like a shadow puppet play.
My cut-paper style matured with ensuing books. I learned to construct more detailed people and scenery, plus how to layer the artwork, creating the shadows that give depth to the pages. Happily, my books have been well received, culminating in the 1997 Caldecott Medal for Golem.
After six epic adventures, I wanted to try something comedic that would draw on my circus and puppet theatre experience. The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups was the result, a silly conspiracy spoof about the real reasons why parents tell kids to do things.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The emperor must choose a son to be the one to take over the throne and rule Japan. The emperor tells his sons that the world is made of five eternal elements and each element is guarded by a monster. The first son to bring all five elements to him will be the next emperor. The brothers go on the journey, but do it in very different ways. Who will be emperor? Why I liked this book – This book has a great message about kindness is always better than violence. I love that message! I really like how the author sums up the moral of the story, saying that he wanted to “dramatize the contrast between two approaches to solving a problem, one relying on blind force and the other on reasoned action” I love how the illustrations are made – from paper and other flat materials! The author’s note at the end of the book is interesting too. It teaches a bit of history about Japan and its people (the warriors and monks). I like how the characters are portrayed. Toezaemon (Toe-ZAY-mon) and Toemon (Toe-AY-mon) are interesting brothers. Their names mean “left” and “right” in the Japanese language. I think that is a good way to define identical twin brothers who act differently, don’t you? I think kids 6+ would enjoy this story! **NOTE My Karate instructor lent me her copy of this book to review.