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by Kim Xiong and illustrated by Kim Xiong & translated by Clarissa Yu Shen

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60603-002-8

Leading an artistic workshop in China, two brothers, an illustrator and a storyteller have worked with their co-artists and their translator to create books to bring Chinese folklore and arts to English-speaking countries. More sophisticated than their earlier government-sponsored didactic counterparts from the 1960s and ’70s, these books (see also The Dragon Tribe, 2009) have an original graphic look that is sometimes at odds with their easy texts. In this minor story, the brave Clay General is a small ceramic toy who avoids the hot kiln where he is made, only to turn back into a lump of formless clay when water accidentally touches him in a home where his child-owner is never seen. The mixed-media illustrations with photographic elements are striking, but at times unclear, and they do not always support the General’s blustery narration. At the end of each book, the story appears in Chinese simplified characters and in transliteration with small copies of the illustrations alongside the appropriate text. In future volumes, the Chinese should be placed on the relevant pages to facilitate bilingual use. (Picture book. 4-7)