Age Range: 4 - 10
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 Drawing on two Chinese-language versions of a traditional tale about a boy even smaller than Tom Thumb, Young portrays a hero who's sure to endear himself to listeners and storytellers alike. Overjoyed by a tiny son born miraculously in their old age, his parents name him Little Plum. The boy never grows, but he brings prosperity by whispering directions into the ear of the family mule. Then soldiers, in a time of drought, punish the villagers for their inability to pay taxes by commandeering their livestock. But Little Plum makes his way to their lord's stronghold, rides a wind-blown leaf over the armored gate, keeps the guards awake all night by stirring up the stolen animals, and leads them home when the guards are finally overcome by sleep. The evil lord follows and gets a well-deserved drubbing as a result of another of clever Little Plum's tricks. Glowing with deep tones enlivened with brighter hues, Caldecott Medalist Young's (Moon Mother, 1993, etc.) full-bleed art captures the story's drama in expressive close-ups and spare, carefully structured compositions focusing on its most significant elements. A trickster tale rich with meaning and handsomely set. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1994
ISBN: 0-399-22683-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1994


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