Books by Yang Ming-Yi

THE LONG-HAIRED GIRL by Doreen Rappaport
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1995

A tale of courage given impact by the sheer drama that laces the story—the give and take, the frenzied activity, the cleverness. The Dragon King has cut off the rain supply to Ah-mei's village. Drought wracks the land; every patch of earth is seared, every throat parched. Ah-mei scours a slope of grass for any trace of greenery and finds a few spare leaves. Giving these a tug, she pulls out a turnip and locates a modest spring. She sips from it as the God of Thunder declares she will lose her life if she tells anyone else about it. Ah-mei does tell the villagers—she must—but a sleight of hand allows her life to be spared. Rappaport (Tinker Vs. Des Moines, 1993, etc.) evocatively retells this Chinese folktale, made doubly effective by exceptional tinted woodcuts, artwork that conjures a south Asian landscape with startling power. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE SHELL WOMAN AND THE KING by Laurence Yep
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

A beautiful woman with the power to transform herself into a seashell outwits the evil king who commands her to abandon her husband and marry him instead. When Shell refuses, the king imprisons her husband and demands that Shell obtain for him three wonders as ransom, including luck by the bushel. Fortunately, he neglects to specify what sort of luck; and when Shell brings him a large, fire-eating dog, the king and his magnificent palace are destroyed. Thus evil is unequivocally punished, but—in contrast to most Western fairy tales—the heroine reaps no extraordinary reward for her courage and conjugal loyalty; presumably, defying a rapacious monarch and surviving are enough. Yang's watercolor-and- ink paintings capture the tale's beauty and violence in tones ranging from misty gray-blue and shell pink to fiery coral, crimson, and jade. An unusual touch is the subtle, gray damask patterning providing a textured background for the type. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >
THE JOURNEY OF MENG by Doreen Rappaport
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

The cruelties attending the building of the Great Wall are dramatized in a powerful story. After her scholar husband is enslaved to work on the Wall, Meng goes on an arduous journey to search for him, only to find that he has died as a result of unremitting toil. Meng summons supernatural powers to topple the Wall in order to reclaim his bones. Enthralled by her beauty, the Emperor begs her to marry him, which she agrees to do on condition that her husband first receive a sumptuous burial—but when the period of mourning is complete, Meng escapes the tyrant by plunging to her death in the sea. Even though the Emperor's vengeance pursues her after death, she triumphs over him yet again as her courage is remembered. The author relates this moving tale with quiet dignity, while the Chinese-born painter conveys Meng's sorrow and determination with elegant simplicity in his lovely ink and watercolor illustrations. A fine contribution. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10) Read full book review >