"WHITE TIGER, BLUE SERPENT" by Grace--Adapt. Tseng


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This lovely tale retold by the daughter of the illustrators comes from the Drung tribe of China's Yunnan Province. The story depicts two lands divided by a river, one of which is the bewitched and beautiful land of the jealous goddess Qin, protected by the white tiger and blue serpent and never visited by the people on the other side, humble peasants who count in their number a young boy named Kai and his mother, a master weaver. Kal would like to be able to keep one of her gorgeous brocades, and so he and his mother make a pact; she will weave the most glorious brocade, but during the thousand days she works on it, Kal will have to provide for them. By dint of hard work, Kal fulfills his promise, and so does his mother, but before they can enjoy the brocade, Qin works her wiles to snatch it away. Kal pursues it, facing the tiger and serpent, while the story folds back on itself in a delightful spray of magic. The narrative has an elegant, aged feeling to it, as though it has been burnished by so many retellings. The illustrators' Ming-influenced artwork works admirably as a setting for the story.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: ---
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lothrop