THE SONG OF MU LAN by Jeanne M. Lee

THE SONG OF MU LAN

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A beautiful translation of a sixth-century Chinese folk poem about Mu Lan, a woman who spends more than a decade in the emperor's army disguised as a man and returns home a hero. The text is printed on soft-hued watercolor illustrations where milky rivers flow through hazy, beige landscapes. The figures are deliberately stilted; each detail is carefully and delicately drawncostumed soldiers and horses, banners, glowing fabrics, folded draperiesbut the artfully created panoramas won't draw readers' eyes across the pages, many of which look more or less alike, and which leave the action fairly vague. The poem is written in free verse, with the original appearing in Chinese calligraphy running down the side of each spread. Lee creates a powerful and distinctive mooda product of spare imagery, elegant repetitions, and use of the present tense to describe the distant pastthat makes for an affecting read- aloud. (Picture book/folklore. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1995
ISBN: 1-886910-00-6
Page count: 36pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1995




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