DREAM-OF-JADE

THE EMPEROR’S CAT

A savvy, sassy little cat causes quite a stir when she defies Chinese custom and law to teach the Emperor how to be a wise and happy ruler in this gentle, satiric tale of friendship. Kwan-Yu, Celestial Emperor of China and Embodiment of the Nine Heavenly Virtues, lives in lonely seclusion behind the walls of the Forbidden City. Burdened by boredom and duties, Kwan-Yu is at the mercy of his unimaginative, obsequious advisors until Dream-of-Jade, a white cat with green eyes, saunters into the sacred Throne Room and dares to sit on the Emperor’s throne. When Dream-of-Jade protects Kwan-Yu from a falling ceiling tile, he rewards her with the title of Imperial Cat and their friendship takes off. Motivated by common sense and her wish to see Kwan-Yu “become the best of all rulers,” Dream-of-Jade cleverly wriggles her way around imperial tradition to make her wish come true. Full-color impressionistic illustrations lavishly capture court life in ancient China as well as Dream-of-Jade’s feline essence. Absolutely first-class storytelling with a remarkable little heroine. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-8126-2736-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Cricket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TWENTY-ONE ELEPHANTS

Fact and fiction dovetail neatly in this tale of a wonderfully resolute child who finds a memorable way to convince her father that the newly-finished Brooklyn Bridge is safe to cross. Having watched the great bridge going up for most of her young life, Hannah is eager to walk it, but despite repeated, fact-laced appeals to reason (and Hannah is a positive fount of information about its materials and design), her father won’t be moved: “No little girl of mine will cross that metal monster!” Hannah finally hatches a far-fetched plan to convince him once and for all; can she persuade the renowned P.T. Barnum to march his corps of elephants across? She can, and does (actually, he was already planning to do it). Pham places Hannah, radiating sturdy confidence, within sepia-toned, exactly rendered period scenes that capture both the grandeur of the bridge in its various stages of construction, and the range of expressions on the faces of onlookers during its opening ceremonies and after. Readers will applaud Hannah’s polite persistence. (afterword, resources) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-87011-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A rousing introduction to the life of a voyageur told from a unique perspective.

THE LITTLEST VOYAGEUR

Stowing away with French Canadian fur traders in 1792, a loquacious red squirrel embarks on a life-changing adventure.

Each spring, Jean Pierre Petit Le Rouge, a squirrel with wanderlust, watches brave, strong voyageurs depart in canoes from Montreal and return the following autumn. Determined to be a voyageur, Le Rouge hides in a canoe paddled by eight stout voyageurs, part of a brigade of five. Soon his incessant chattering distracts the voyageurs, who become separated from the rest of the brigade, but, after ascending the highest tree, he points the crew back on course. More than once, pesky Le Rouge barely escapes becoming squirrel ragout. He’s just beginning to feel like a real voyageur when they reach the trading post on Lake Superior, where he discovers the voyageurs exchanging their cargo for animal skins to return to Montreal. Heartsick, Le Rouge decides he cannot be a voyageur if it involves trading animal skins, unless he can change things. Le Rouge relates his story with drama and flair, presenting a colorful prism through which to view the daily life of a voyageur. Peppered with historical facts and (italicized) French phrases and names, this exciting, well-documented tale (with a contemporary animal-rights subtext) proves educational and entertaining. Realistic pencil drawings highlight Le Rouge’s memorable journey.

A rousing introduction to the life of a voyageur told from a unique perspective. (map, pronunciation guide, historical and biological notes, recipe, further reading) (Historical fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4247-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more