Books by Ju-Hong Chen

Released: Oct. 15, 1992

A concise retelling, with both text and illustrations framed in ogee arches. Chen (see Caryn Yacowitz's The Jade Stone, p. 546) is a wonderful colorist who deftly conveys shapes, textures, and expressions with streaks, swirls, and dabs of paint. The text here is shorter than Andrew Lang's, used by Errol LeCain in his 1981 version, while—compared to LeCain's formal, otherworldly pictures- -Chen's art is down to earth, with sly touches of humor. As always, the genies (here called djinns) steal the show. A note points out that the story may actually be ``a French imposter in Oriental garb.'' (Folklore/Picture book. 6-9) Read full book review >
THE JADE STONE by Caryn Yacowitz
Released: April 15, 1992

When the Emperor of China is given a perfect piece of jade, he orders master carver Chan Lo to form from it ``a dragon of wind and fire.'' But Chan Lo can carve only what he hears in the stone, and the gentle, playful sounds emanating from this noble piece speak of a graceful trio of carp. The outraged Emperor vows to let his dreams determine Chan Lo's punishment. Fortunately, he too dreams the soft, lazy sounds that inspired Chan Lo's masterpiece, whose beauty now overcomes the Emperor's anger. A wonderful read-aloud, with great sound effects, a thrice- repeated incantation, and the dramatic voices of the Emperor and his babbling advisors. Each figure in Chen's soft, smudgy watercolors floats within a dark nimbus and is accompanied by a rectangular cartouche containing Chinese characters. A tale about artistic integrity, told with such artful simplicity that it'll be easily accessible to young children. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >
Released: April 15, 1991

A well-told, nicely balanced story with an admirable message. Hard-working Yee-Lee sets out to ask a wise man why he is so poor. En route, he agrees to ask the wise man questions for three others: the mother of a mute daughter, the owner of a barren fruit tree, and a dragon who yearns to ascend to heaven. Finding that the wise man will answer only three questions, Yee- lee omits his own—to find, of course, that the other answers have the effect of granting all he could wish for. In rough pencil and subtle colors, Chen's beautifully designed, stylized illustrations—an imaginative blend of references to Chinese art with simple forms like dePaola's—reflect the story's warmth and gentle humor. Unusually satisfying. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >