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THE RABBIT AND THE DRAGON KING by Daniel San Souci

THE RABBIT AND THE DRAGON KING

By Daniel San Souci (Adaptor) , Eujin Kim Neilan (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-56397-880-6
Publisher: Boyds Mills

The author and artist of In the Moonlight Mist (1999) once again combine their considerable talents to the retelling of a Korean tale. The mystery of an underwater world, an all-powerful Dragon King, and the cunning trickery of Rabbit combine with luminescent paintings to tell the story of a discontented rabbit and of the Dragon King who becomes convinced that his health will be restored only when he eats a rabbit’s heart. The faithful turtle is sent to land to bring a rabbit that will sacrifice his heart for the well-being of the king. Magic helps the rabbit breathe underwater, but once Rabbit realizes the reason for his journey, he convinces the King that he has left his heart on land, hidden in a secret place. Allowed to return to land for the purpose of retrieving his heart to send back to the King, Rabbit instead sends back a piece of fruit from the persimmon tree. Nevertheless, the King swallows what he thinks is the Rabbit’s heart and is brought to full recovery. Back on land, with his heart intact, Rabbit enjoys a new level of contentment with his life as it is. Blues, greens, purples, and bursts of reds and yellows create a sometimes scary underground world inhabited by dragons, turtles, and undersea creatures. Some of the subtleties of the tale will be lost on the youngest of readers but as a read-aloud, this will enchant primary-age readers and engage older readers who will delight in Rabbit’s cleverness. (Picture book/folklore. 6-11)