An enchanting Chinese folktale is enhanced by the subdued, mesmeric style of Young (Donkey Trouble, p. 1360, etc.). Ho Kuan, a young scholar, is charged with keeping a stream of ants out of his father's storehouse. Seeking a way to please his father without drowning the ants, he is visited by an army of black soldiers who summon him to their king. In the royal city he marries, thwarts an attack of red-armored invaders, and becomes a hero. Ho Kuan wakes to find his adventure a dream, but the solution to his problem real. The shadowy figures in the pictures might not engage all young readers, but sensitive viewers will be rewarded. Fresh, uplifting, and profound.