An ""old Chinese folktale,"" mundanely told to the accompaniment of faint, finicky, minute pictures. The plot is no gripper either. A poor boy, Liang, who yearns to be a painter but can't afford to buy a brush, is presented with a magic paintbrush: whatever he paints comes to life. So when he merely wants to paint pictures to sell, he leaves something out. One day a drop of ink falls where he's left out the eye of a crane; the bird flies away; and the greedy emperor, getting wind of this miracle, orders Liang brought to the palace. But Liang refuses to paint what he's told and the emperor's efforts misfire too. Then Liang, fearful that the brush will lose its magic in the emperor's hands, agrees to paint whatever he's bid--and paints so much wind that the emperor's boat sinks at sea. ""What became of Liang? Nobody knows. Some say that he went back to his own village. Others say that he roamed the earth painting for the poor wherever he went."" Pallid to the last.