LIU AND THE BIRD by Catherine Louis

LIU AND THE BIRD

A Journey in Chinese Calligraphy
by & illustrated by & translated by &
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This confusing foray into Chinese writing pairs a dreamy narrative illustrated with handsome linocut and painted-paper collage scenes with small representations of selected characters’ supposed evolution from pictogram to (simplified) modern form. In the story, a child travels along a river to a forest, over mountains and down to her grandfather’s, where she draws a bird that comes to life and flies away. Thirty words have been pulled from the text; in tiles along the side, each goes in three steps from a painted picture through an unspecified historical transitional form to a freely-brushed modern rendition. Like these stages, the word choices—“treetop,” “crossroads,” “ shine”—are arbitrary, less likely to be something children might learn and use than the more common and concrete words in Huy Voun Lee’s In the Leaves (2005) and its several companion volumes. Young readers may enjoy the story, but will likely skip the orthographic history and the vague suggestions for follow-up activities at the end. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7358-2050-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: NorthSouth
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2006




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