THE GREATEST TREASURE by Demi

THE GREATEST TREASURE

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This wise old tale from China speaks of the ill winds that may accompany great wealth. Pang, a rich man, is always worried about his fortune, counting it, tormented by how to spend it, scheming to get more. He has no time for his children or wife, who counsels her young ones: “With money you are a dragon, without it you are a worm.” Li, a poor and happy farmer who lives nearby, plays his flute for the enjoyment and merriment of his children and wife. Their happy noises cause Pang to lose count while tallying his coins; to gain a little peace, he shrewdly gives Li a bag of coins, and it works. Li is so busy counting and hiding the coins that he abandons his flute and family. Li soon sees the folly of his behavior, and makes flutes for Pang and his family, delivering them with a reminder: “Gold and silver have their price, but peace and happiness are priceless.” The message has immediacy, even if Demi’s retelling lacks flair; the stylized artwork, too, is static even at the tale’s triumphant end. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-590-31339-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998




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