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MAPLES IN THE MIST by Minfong Ho

MAPLES IN THE MIST

Children's Poems from the Tang Dynasty

By Minfong Ho (Translator) , Jean Tseng (Illustrator) , Mou-sien Tseng (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-688-12044-X

 A collection of tiny poems set against watercolors painted in the Chinese tradition. These Tang Dynasty poems, translated from the Chinese, were traditionally memorized by children learning to read. Ho (Hush!, p. 227) tells readers in the brief, intimate introduction how the book grew out of her desire to pass these vivid four-line verses on to her own children. The poems are immediate and accessible: ``When I was little/I thought the moon was a white jade plate,/Or maybe a mirror in Heaven/Flying through blue clouds.'' In ``News of Home,'' the poet asks, ``The day you left, was the plum tree/By my window in bloom yet?'' The sound of a bell at night, the snow-white hair on an old man, frosted leaves ``redder than spring blossoms''-- these seemingly artless images compress a depth of feeling nicely reflected in the pictures. The dreamlike world of recognition and memory in the watercolors is firmly yoked to the images in the poems. More mature poetry fans will recognize many of the names here; an ``About the Poets'' section offers brief biographies. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)