Harris' introduction explains that this was taken from the old Chinese adventure Journey to the West, which in turn was...

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MONKEY AND THE THREE WIZARDS

Harris' introduction explains that this was taken from the old Chinese adventure Journey to the West, which in turn was based on even older material about a Buddhist monk who traveled to India to collect scriptures for the Emperor; somehow a wonder-working monkey got into the story, and here he gets involved in a series of life-or-death contests with three wizards who turn out to be wild animals possessed by evil spirits. Though their magic is strong, Monkey's is supreme; he starts out by making it rain, thinks nothing of being decapitated (he simply calls back his head as it rolls away), and changes himself with equal ease into a gnat an iron nail. All of this helps get the monk's expedition on its holy way and proves to the local king the superiority of Buddhist magic to that of his false wizards. The source notes could help put this over in the classroom, though out of context Monkey's performance won't strike American children as all that special, and Foreman's theatrical watercolor dreamscapes make him all the more remote.

Pub Date: March 28, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury--dist. by Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1977