THE GREATEST POWER by Demi

THE GREATEST POWER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this portentous sequel to The Empty Pot (1991), Demi spins a thinly plotted original tale into a panoramic view of Chinese contributions to science and culture, capped by a confusingly presented—not to mention arguable—philosophical proposition. Inspired by the Heavens’ harmony, boy-emperor Ping decides to bring harmony to his kingdom by choosing as Prime Minister, the child who can discover the greatest power in the world. Within circular compositions, Demi strews dozens of tiny, precisely rendered children who, depending on their convictions, proceed to make weapons or beautiful clothing, create an array of inventions and technological achievements, or build a statue of Guan Yu, god of money. Only young Sing does not make something; instead, bringing up the rear of the colorful climactic parade, she shows Ping a lotus seed, breaks it open (no mean feat, that), and explains that the life which grows from the “nothing” within is the greatest power. Of course, she gets the job—but even readers inclined to accept Sing’s rather narrow view at face value will be left scratching their heads over the obscure way she presents it. Pretty, but not up to the author’s standard. (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-84503-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2004




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