WHAT THE RAT TOLD ME by Marie Sellier

WHAT THE RAT TOLD ME

A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac
by , illustrated by ,
Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

This pourquoi tale with a trickster slant, translated from the French, introduces the symbols of the Chinese zodiac. When the Great Emperor of Heaven invites all the animals to visit him before sunrise at the top of Jade Mountain, the rascally rat neglects to wake his friend, the cat, sneaks a ride between the ox’s horns and lands first at the emperor’s feet. The ruler rewards the rat’s cunning with the first year, and continues to grant each successive year to the next one in line, extolling each animal’s virtues in the process. Having missed its turn, the duped cat now considers the rat his enemy. This tall, slim book features Louis’s striking red-and-black linoleum prints, a double-page zodiac wheel and Wang Fei’s elegant calligraphy depicting each zodiac symbol; it is an apt companion to the team’s previous retelling, Legend of the Chinese Dragon (2008). Despite occasionally stiff prose, the story’s unique subject and engaging artwork create an enjoyable resource for celebrating Chinese New Year and may prompt children to invent their own symbols and attributes. (Picture book/folktale. 6-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2220-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: NorthSouth
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2008




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