A LITTLE TIGER IN THE CHINESE NIGHT

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN ART

An artist (b. 1942) who did his best to remain a loyal Chinese citizen through the Cultural Revolution—but finally escaped to Canada in 1989—now shares his story. Zhang's straightforward narrative, powerful in its honesty, is much enriched by his detailed art. The title refers to his early memory of seeing a tiger (a lucky omen) when he and his mother were ``hiding out in...the Bao-wu mountains because the Japanese had occupied Shanghai.'' Zhang's father, a Communist official early on, was later declared suspect and his family was forcibly scattered. Meanwhile, the boy's talent was recognized and he received an art education, but the regime's demands left him little time to paint. Selling four paintings to an American enabled him to go to Canada, where, in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square, he received sanctuary and his wife and sons were able to join him. Zhang's fascinating account of his grueling experiences, in many ways representative of his generation even though he was also particularly ``lucky,'' is much enhanced by his paintings and sketches. In classic Communist style, they're cheerfully realistic: though he describes many hardships, his figures are almost always smiling and well-fed, but they also have an energy and subtlety of expression that explain his privileged position as an artist. Unusually immediate and authentic. Historical chronology (1835-1990). (Nonfiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 1993

ISBN: 0-88776-320-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1993

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ALVIN AILEY

A slightly fictionalized account of the great dancer- choreographer's (1931-89) early training and rise to fame, ending with the triumphant 1960 production of Revelations. Andrea Pinkney's narration is an undetailed but effective appreciation, written in an energetic, expressive style. Her husband's scratchboard illustrations are grand, beautifully capturing the dancers' rhythmic movement in swirls of fine lines and subtle, rather somber color enriching the black underlay. A final note fills in some of the facts; this attractive introduction, based on interviews with many who knew Ailey, will leave readers hungry for more. (Biography/Picture book)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 1993

ISBN: 1-56282-413-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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