PAPER LANTERNS by Stefan Czernecki


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
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Those time-tested attributes of a good student—listen quietly, watch carefully, practice persistently—get unforced cultivation in this tale, but it’s the lanterns that steal the show. Old Chen is coming to the end of his working days, but as yet he has no one to whom he can pass on his cut-paper lantern-making shop. His apprentices simply don’t have the magic in their fingers the way Old Chen has. When a young boy, Little Mouse, starts to visit the shop, enthralled by the lanterns, Old Chen sees the fire in his eyes as they rest upon the fine lanterns. Little Mouse follows the rules: he listens, he watches, he practices at home each night with scraps from the shop, where he has been taken on as a broom boy. Then comes the day when his skills are tested—a snowy day when Old Chen’s hands are too cold and brittle to work, but a big dragon lantern is due for the annual festival. The apprentices don’t have the right stuff, so Little Mouse pulls it off with flair, and the shop has found a new master. The low-key patter of the text supports some highly stylized, candy-bright artwork, with each of the text pages graced with a painted example of handmade cut-paper lanternwork. Enlightening. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-57091-410-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2001


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