TONGUES OF JADE by Laurence Yep
Kirkus Star


adapted by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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An award-winning author presents a second gathering of folktales as remembered by Chinese immigrants to California. Like those in The Rainbow People (1989), these were collected in the 30's as part of a WPA project and originally appeared in a book entitled The Golden Mountain. Yep arranges them into broad subject areas, prefacing each section with a brief discussion of how the tales illustrate aspects of Chinese culture that would be important for an immigrant (either returning to China or staying "in the land of the Gold Mountain") to remember. The collection as a whole is informed by the idea of jade as preserver: hence, a storyteller's jade tongue preserves a heritage. Many of these 17 stories are unfamiliar. Yep's retellings maintain their freshness and vitality; his essays are cogent introductions to the cultural values portrayed, reinforcing connections between story and birthright. Wiesner provides handsome b&w watercolors, enhancing the attractive format and making an intriguing visual hook for each story. Once again, as entertainment and enrichment, a bravura accomplishment. (Folklore. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-022470-3
Page count: 194pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1991


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