RED THREAD by Ed Young


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 & up
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 With an imaginative, innovative use of traditional elements of Chinese art recalling Young's Lon Po Po (1990 Caldecott Medal), another spellbinding Chinese tale. Wei Gu, an orphan, longs for a wife. Seeking a matchmaker, he encounters an old man from the spirit world who predicts that he will marry, in 14 years, a child who is now only three years old; the spirit shows Wei a red thread that already links them and will surely draw them together. At first overjoyed, the haughty Wei is dismayed when his bride is pointed out in the marketplace, carried by a poor blind woman; furious, he sends his servant to kill the child. Years later, happily married, he questions his well-born wife about the ornament she wears and learns that it covers the scar his servant made. But in this generous tale, Wei's youthful pride and indiscretion are forgiven: ``After this day the couple grew even closer,'' ending their days in honor and wealth. Setting his unobtrusive blocks of text below a single ruled red ``thread'' crossing the full-bleed spreads, Young dapples his pages with delectable clouds of pastels and watercolors, delicately defining forms with lines of soft blue or gray and a gentle red that echoes the title motif. In exquisitely designed compositions, he plays architecture's precision against crowds of tiny impressionistic figures, uses dynamic perspectives and brilliant colors to focus on a dramatic portrait, or frames the couple, in their moment of revelation, in a mellow haze subtly etched with the lines of their home. Another splendid achievement for this fine artist. (No source given, but LC classes this in 398.21.) (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: March 24th, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-21969-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993


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