LEGEND OF THE CHINESE DRAGON by Marie Sellier

LEGEND OF THE CHINESE DRAGON

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

Writing in a tellable, folkloristic style, Sellier invents this “legend” to dovetail nicely with the importance of the dragon symbol in Chinese culture, but unfortunately provides no sources. In an earlier period of Chinese history, the tale says that different tribes were protected by animal spirits, representative of the species that lived in their regions, i.e., those that lived near the shore selected the fish, the low-plains people chose the horse and the people of the rice fields allied with the ox. The inhabitants of the high plains and the mountains invoked the serpent and the bird. The adults fought each other and used their spirits as rallying cries to support their aggression, but the children finally unite to stop war dead in its tracks by creating a new animal that all the people can believe in—the dragon with its serpentine body, fish-scale skin, horse-like head, ox horns and birds’ wings. Woodcuts with strong black shapes and patches of red, blue, yellow, orange and green, black Chinese calligraphic text with accompanying chop marks in red denoting the names of the animals, and changing page designs combine to create a powerful visual experience. The last spread connects the story to the New Year celebrations, but some explanatory information would add depth to this bilingual English/Chinese story smoothly translated from the French original. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2152-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: NorthSouth
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008




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