CRICKET BOY by Feenie Ziner


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An oversize volume, decorated in the center of every right-hand page with dim bronze paintings, suggesting old Chinese watercolors, which accent rather than illustrate the story. (The first few pictures, in fact, will have you straining until you realize that there's nothing in those shadowy depths to see.) The story takes place ""long ago in China"" where a poor scholar named Hu becomes interested in crickets as a way to relate to his son Hu Sing, who collects and trains them for matches. But when the Emperor sends for the elder Hu and his champion to fight his own cricket, the little boy accidentally kills his father's and, remorseful, drowns himself. Or so it seems--but as it happens a new, small cricket appears to defeat the Emperor's champion for Hu, and when he returns home his son awakens, reporting a strange dream of wrestling the ruler's general. After the rejoicing, Hu can only wonder at what really happened. In the end, then, Young's teasingly subtle illustrations do relate to the story's elusive finish. But it is a bit of a set piece, in a very minor key.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday