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1 Burnside Children's Folk Tales- Asian and Pacific

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China

by

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An enchanting tale of hidden beauty and fierce courage, retold in the style of Tang Dynasty poetry and illustrated with charm and grace

A young Chinese princess is sent from her fathers kingdom to marry the king of a far-off land. She must leave behind her home of splendors: sour plums and pink peach petals and — most precious and secret of all — the small silkworm. She begs her father to let her stay, but he insists that she go and fulfill her destiny as the queen of Khotan. Beautifully told and arrestingly illustrated, here is a coming-of-age tale of a brave young princess whose clever plan will go on to live in legend — and will ensure that her cherished home is with her always.

Review:

"Ancient sources say silkworms and mulberry seeds left China hidden in the elaborately coiffed hair of a princess. Imagining what might have prompted the princess to reveal the secret of silk production, a crime punishable by death, Noyes (Hana in the Time of the Tulips) writes with exquisite delicacy of Princess Red Butterfly's truncated girlhood: 'I am a child with my hair/ yet cut across my forehead,/ but soon I will marry/ the king of far Khotan.' Blackall (Ruby's Wish) composes sumptuous portraits of the imperial Chinese court: ladies whisper behind fans, consorts bathe in hot springs, a dressmaker fits the princess for a robe. Her ink-and-wash spreads swirl with flourishes (fluttering silk sashes, curving garden paths and tumbling locks of black hair). Red Butterfly must leave her parents, her little brother — whose grief Blackall paints in quiet brushstrokes — and all the beauty around her: 'Good-bye,/ red-crowned crane. / Good-bye,/ sour plums.' Noyes understands Red Butterfly's theft as a small but powerful rebellion against loss: 'If you must go.... from all you know,/ take with you/ some small piece/ of brightness,/ some shining memory...' The story ends as Red Butterfly leaves for Khotan, but Blackall gives readers visual clues (the princess's smile, flying silk moths) to suggest that the girl's resilience creates a hopeful future. Ages 6-10." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"More than 1,500 years ago, Deborah Noyes writes in a note appended to this beautiful picture book, a Chinese princess married the king of a desert oasis far to the west and took with her, hidden in her hair or headdress, silkworm cocoons and mulberry seeds. Or so goes the legend. In language recalling the poet Li Po, best known to readers of English through Ezra Pound's rendering of 'The River Merchant's... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

This enchanting tale of hidden beauty and fierce courage offers the story of a young Chinese princess who must leave her fathers home of many splendors to marry the king of a far-off land. Her clever plan to ensure her cherished home is with her always continues to live in legend. Full color.

About the Author

Deborah Noyes is the author of HANA IN THE TIME OF THE TULIPS, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, as well as other books for children and adults. She also edited the young adult anthologies GOTHIC! and THE RESTLESS DEAD. Deborah Noyes lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Sophie Blackall is the illustrator of several award-winning picture books, including RUBY'S WISH by Shirin Yim Bridges, MEET WILD BOARS by Meg Rosoff, and the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780763624002
Author:
Noyes, Deborah
Publisher:
Candlewick Press (MA)
Illustrator:
Blackall, Sophie
Author:
Blackall, Sophie
Author:
kall, Sophie
Author:
Blac
Subject:
China
Subject:
Princesses
Subject:
Historical - Asia
Subject:
People & Places - Asia
Subject:
Social Issues - New Experience
Subject:
Picture books for children
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Picture book
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 1 up to 5
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4-COLOR
Pages:
32
Dimensions:
11.56x10.12x.39 in. 1.19 lbs.
Children's Book Type:
Picture / Wordless
Age Level:
06-10

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Related Subjects

Children's » Folk Tales » Asian and Pacific
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Asia
Children's » Picture Books » Folktales » Asian
Children's » Poetry » General
Children's » Sale Books
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » New Experience

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 32 pages Candlewick Press (MA) - English 9780763624002 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ancient sources say silkworms and mulberry seeds left China hidden in the elaborately coiffed hair of a princess. Imagining what might have prompted the princess to reveal the secret of silk production, a crime punishable by death, Noyes (Hana in the Time of the Tulips) writes with exquisite delicacy of Princess Red Butterfly's truncated girlhood: 'I am a child with my hair/ yet cut across my forehead,/ but soon I will marry/ the king of far Khotan.' Blackall (Ruby's Wish) composes sumptuous portraits of the imperial Chinese court: ladies whisper behind fans, consorts bathe in hot springs, a dressmaker fits the princess for a robe. Her ink-and-wash spreads swirl with flourishes (fluttering silk sashes, curving garden paths and tumbling locks of black hair). Red Butterfly must leave her parents, her little brother — whose grief Blackall paints in quiet brushstrokes — and all the beauty around her: 'Good-bye,/ red-crowned crane. / Good-bye,/ sour plums.' Noyes understands Red Butterfly's theft as a small but powerful rebellion against loss: 'If you must go.... from all you know,/ take with you/ some small piece/ of brightness,/ some shining memory...' The story ends as Red Butterfly leaves for Khotan, but Blackall gives readers visual clues (the princess's smile, flying silk moths) to suggest that the girl's resilience creates a hopeful future. Ages 6-10." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This enchanting tale of hidden beauty and fierce courage offers the story of a young Chinese princess who must leave her fathers home of many splendors to marry the king of a far-off land. Her clever plan to ensure her cherished home is with her always continues to live in legend. Full color.
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