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The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend

by

The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend Cover

ISBN13: 9780689851841
ISBN10: 0689851847
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Behavior not befitting the son of the Dragon King!"

The Dragon King has sent his nine sons out to find their places in the world, but rumors abound — each son is apparently as aimless as the next! One son does nothing but stare into space, another spends his day frolicking in a stream, another plays with fire, and still another hollers and yells from noon till night. The king realizes it's time to visit each son to see if the rumors are true. What he finds surprises him, for each son has a very special gift that continues to serve and enrich China's culture to this very day.

Two-time Caldecott winner Ed Young brings us a legend of a very special parent recognizing the potential in his very special children, and in doing so, shows how a simple folktale shaped a visible part of Chinese culture.

Review:

"Caldecott Medalist Young delivers some of his most exciting illustrations since Lon Po Po in this traditional Chinese tale about a Dragon King with nine sons. Unsettling rumors about his sons reach the Dragon King: one is said to be extraordinarily lazy, another to make 'monstrous noises' all day long, and none acts as 'befit[s] the son of a king' (children will quickly recognize most of these criticisms). Surreptitiously traveling to each of his progeny, the Dragon King quietly witnesses the various unseemly behaviors and then, wisely, sees in each a virtue that can help serve the kingdom. For example, Ba-Sha, who spends all his time swimming, delightedly accepts his father's suggestion that he oversee water safety. Even today, as facing text explains, whenever a son discovers his strength, the sons' roles remain visible in Chinese culture (Ba-Sha's face adorns bridges). Beyond its value in exploring Chinese imagery and myth, the book demonstrates simply and accessibly that even the most idle-seeming 'talent' can be put to good use. Young's exceptionally deft and energetic illustrations of the sons animate the text. Rendered with ink and brush, these surprisingly funny dragons seem almost to move on the page (the maker of 'monstrous noises' sings full-out, almost like an opera singer). More formal cut-paper pictures of the nine sons' images, in their traditional symbolic uses, balance the brushwork. With a design as elegant and lively as the prose is clear, this book is a welcome addition to the folktale shelf. Ages 5-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The Caldecott Medalist (Lon Po Po) brings young readers the legend of a parent recognizing the potential in his very special children, and in doing so, shows how a simple folktale has shaped a visible part of Chinese culture. Full color.

Synopsis:

"Behavior not befitting the son of the Dragon King!"

The Dragon King has sent his nine sons out to find their places in the world, but rumors abound — each son is apparently as aimless as the next! One son does nothing but stare into space, another spends his day frolicking in a stream, another plays with fire, and still another hollers and yells from noon till night. The king realizes it's time to visit each son to see if the rumors are true. What he finds surprises him, for each son has a very special gift that continues to serve and enrich China's culture to this very day.

Two-time Caldecott winner Ed Young brings us a legend of a very special parent recognizing the potential in his very special children, and in doing so, shows how a simple folktale shaped a visible part of Chinese culture.

About the Author

Ed Young received the Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, as well as Caldecott Honors for his illustrations in The Emperor and the Kite, written by Jane Yolen, and for his book Seven Blind Mice. His work appears in The Hunter: A Chinese Folktale by Mary Casanova and Donkey Trouble, which he authored; White Fang by Jack London; and Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Book Dads, November 16, 2009 (view all comments by Book Dads)
The Sons of the Dragon King is a retelling of an ancient Chinese folktale that also carries lessons about fatherhood and valuing each of our children for their own individual gifts. In ancient times, Chinese civilization consisted of many tribes, each with its own animal totem. When these tribes became unified, their totem animals merged together into a single ruling Dragon King that combined their features. When the Dragon King’s nine sons were born, each of them was as distinct from the others as their father’s different features, and each moved to a different region of the country to rule away from the watchful eye of their father.

When the Dragon King learns that his first son Bei-She is spending all his time challenging the peasants to see if anyone is stronger than him, he disguises himself as a peasant and goes to see for himself. At first he is angered to learn that the rumors are true, but then considers that perhaps his son’s great strength can be put to good use. His son is pleased at the Dragon King’s idea, and to this day the image of Bei-She can be found at the base of large columns that support some of China’s greatest buildings. And so it goes through his second son, Chi Wen, whose watchfulness makes him an ideal sentinel for the tops of buildings, and onward through the rest of the Dragon King’s nine sons until all have found positions that best suit them.

It’s often very hard to acknowledge our children’s own unique personalities. It’s especially hard to do so for those parts of our children’s personalities – like anger – that are disruptive or that make us personally uncomfortable. At first, the Dragon King is disturbed and baffled by the behavior of his sons, yet he wisely figures out how to put each of this children’s talents to good use, even though they are not behaving as he would like. Where others see the Dragon King’s sons wasting their time in distractions, the Dragon King sees that each of his sons has a special strength that can be honored. Further, by helping his children find a way to use their strengths, he also helps them find their own productive paths through life.

The Dragon King is beautifully illustrated in a simple style that accents the story without distracting from it, and is a wonderful window into Chinese folklore and culture. But more importantly, it speaks to the fundamental truth that all children have their own strengths and their own path. And it challenges fathers to live up to the Dragon King’s example by learning to not only to see our children for who they truly are, but to value each of them for their unique strengths as well.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780689851841
Author:
Young, Ed
Publisher:
Atheneum Books
Subject:
Children's 4-8 - Picturebooks
Subject:
Legends, Myths, & Fables - Other
Subject:
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Single Title
Subject:
China
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Asian
Subject:
Art/Architecture
Subject:
Folklore -- China.
Subject:
Children s Fairy Tales-General
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B221
Publication Date:
May 2004
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from P up to 3
Language:
English
Illustrations:
f-c int.-jkt
Pages:
32
Dimensions:
10 x 11 in 16.66 oz
Children's Book Type:
Picture / Wordless
Age Level:
5-8

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Related Subjects


Children's » Folk Tales » Asian and Pacific
Children's » General
Children's » Nonfiction » World Cultures
Children's » People and Cultures

The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend New Hardcover
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$19.99 In Stock
Product details 32 pages Atheneum Books - English 9780689851841 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Caldecott Medalist Young delivers some of his most exciting illustrations since Lon Po Po in this traditional Chinese tale about a Dragon King with nine sons. Unsettling rumors about his sons reach the Dragon King: one is said to be extraordinarily lazy, another to make 'monstrous noises' all day long, and none acts as 'befit[s] the son of a king' (children will quickly recognize most of these criticisms). Surreptitiously traveling to each of his progeny, the Dragon King quietly witnesses the various unseemly behaviors and then, wisely, sees in each a virtue that can help serve the kingdom. For example, Ba-Sha, who spends all his time swimming, delightedly accepts his father's suggestion that he oversee water safety. Even today, as facing text explains, whenever a son discovers his strength, the sons' roles remain visible in Chinese culture (Ba-Sha's face adorns bridges). Beyond its value in exploring Chinese imagery and myth, the book demonstrates simply and accessibly that even the most idle-seeming 'talent' can be put to good use. Young's exceptionally deft and energetic illustrations of the sons animate the text. Rendered with ink and brush, these surprisingly funny dragons seem almost to move on the page (the maker of 'monstrous noises' sings full-out, almost like an opera singer). More formal cut-paper pictures of the nine sons' images, in their traditional symbolic uses, balance the brushwork. With a design as elegant and lively as the prose is clear, this book is a welcome addition to the folktale shelf. Ages 5-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The Caldecott Medalist (Lon Po Po) brings young readers the legend of a parent recognizing the potential in his very special children, and in doing so, shows how a simple folktale has shaped a visible part of Chinese culture. Full color.
"Synopsis" by , "Behavior not befitting the son of the Dragon King!"

The Dragon King has sent his nine sons out to find their places in the world, but rumors abound — each son is apparently as aimless as the next! One son does nothing but stare into space, another spends his day frolicking in a stream, another plays with fire, and still another hollers and yells from noon till night. The king realizes it's time to visit each son to see if the rumors are true. What he finds surprises him, for each son has a very special gift that continues to serve and enrich China's culture to this very day.

Two-time Caldecott winner Ed Young brings us a legend of a very special parent recognizing the potential in his very special children, and in doing so, shows how a simple folktale shaped a visible part of Chinese culture.

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