A fast-paced, humorous introduction to the art and mythology of China: a story retold from an episode in a 16th-century Chinese novel by Wu Cheng En, illustrated by four Chinese artists, and published in association with a Chinese publishing house. The Monkey King, a trickster hero in Chinese mythology, is given a minor position in Heaven so that the Celestial Emperor can keep an eye on him. Monkey rebels; and between gorging on the peaches of immortality and engaging in a shape-changing battle with a divinity, he manages to upset all the Heavenly host--with the exception of Buddha Ru Lai, who finally succeeds in outwitting the trickster. The vital illustrations here are richly colored, though the larger ones are most satisfactory. When several paintings appear on one page, poor placement of the accompanying text disturbs the story's flow; and while the smaller illustrations are as energetic and detailed as the full-page paintings, their reduced size makes them less effective. Appropriate for either reading aloud or storytelling, this is a good addition to general or comparative folktale collections.