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DREAM-OF-JADE by Lloyd Alexander Kirkus Star


The Emperor’s Cat

by Lloyd Alexander & illustrated by D. Brent Burkett

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8126-2736-9
Publisher: Cricket

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)