BLUE WILLOW by Pam Conrad

BLUE WILLOW

Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The 18th-century “blue willow” pattern, with its teahouse, hump-backed bridge, and willow tree, has inspired storytellers to shape a tale about the design’s origins; here the fundamental elements of the story combine in Conrad’s tale of love and loss. A wealthy merchant loves and protects his daughter, Kung Shi Fair, who falls in love with Chang the Good, a humble fisherman. Their romance is kept a secret, but Kung Shi’s father has seen them dallying in the moon pavilion. Afraid of losing her, Kung Shi’s father puts off, time and again, her marriage request. Kung Shi, in desperation, pilots her little boat through a storm to Chang and drowns; Chang is killed accidentally by the villagers, who take his sounds of mourning as the threatening noise of a leopard. The lovers return as birds to the moon pavilion, and the father commissions a plate in their memory. Conrad is gentle with this sad tale, warning readers of the sorrows ahead, and cautioning parents to heed their young when it comes to matters of the heart. Gallagher’s artwork is lovely, crowded with incidentals from the story and setting; the faces are animated, sometimes peeking out at readers, and inviting them into the substantial text. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-22904-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999




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