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THE GHOST FOX by Laurence Yep


by Laurence Yep & illustrated by Jean Tseng & Mou-sien Tseng

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0590472054
Publisher: Scholastic

Familial relationships are exquisitely rendered in this supernatural story drawn from a 17th-century collection by Chinese scholar Pu Sung-ling. After Little Lee accidentally bumps a stranger on a street while carrying cargo to his father Big Lee's ship, Big Lee sails away, promising to return by the New Year. Tension builds as the stranger, a "young gentleman in a red robe," follows Little Lee and his mother to their home. Scratching sounds are heard in the night; the shadow of a fox passes before Little Lee's bedroom window; but as long as the doors stay bolted, the boy and his mother are safe. But one night after the two, exhausted, have forgotten to lock the doors, the ghost fox enters, hungry for souls. The Tsengs' pen-and-ink illustrations evocatively capture 17th-century Chinese dress and architecture, while Yep's narrative depicts the dauntless triumph of good over evil with eerie grace and humor. (Folktale. 7+)