LU PAN: The Carpenter's Apprentice by Demi Hitz

LU PAN: The Carpenter's Apprentice

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Lu Pan, or Kungshu Pan, ""was a real person who lived during the Chou Dynasty in the Fifth Century B.C. . . . . Lu Pan's methods of carpentry have been followed down through the centuries, and his manual exists today."" But this appended verification hardly justifies Hitz' lifeless account of Lu Pan's apprenticeship. ""Travel[ing] for ninety-nine days, climbing ninety-nine big mountains, and crossing ninety-nine broad rivers,"" twelve-year-old Lu Pan journeys to the master carpenter who has him fell a huge tree, turn it into a smooth round beam, and cut 2400 specially shaped holes in it (all this to test his ""courage"")--then sets him to work taking apart, reassembling, and finally reproducing a collection of models. Thus prepared, Lu Pan goes on to build houses, pavilions, bridges, chariots, etc.--all of which are merely listed here. How he goes about these tasks is never mentioned, let alone what he thinks or feels about them, and Hitz' ineffectual full-page drawings only extend the vacuum.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Prentice-Hall