Synopses & Reviews
Everyone loves to fly kites, but few people know their special history. Demi's beautifully illustrated book blends storytelling with fact to reveal the time-honored traditions behind kite flying and kite festivals in China. With illustrated directions for making and decorating magic kites, readers of all ages can soon be flying their own wishes up to the sky.
A Note to Parents and Teachers
The fun continues after the story is finished! As part of the Dragonfly Difference, we've included two pages of activities inspired by this story. We hope you'll enjoy them with a child after reading this Dragonfly Book.
Each of the kite symbols in this book represents a different kind of wish. What special fortune do you think these Chinese symbols might bring?
4. watermelon seeds
Compare your answers with the Chinese meanings listed below. Do you have a wish for your family, your teacher, your friend, or yourself? On a separate piece of paper, draw a picture of the kite you would fly to make this wish come true.
You'll find many different symbols within the pages of this book. Look through each page and see if you can spot the following:
-- Five symbols for happiness
-- Four symbols for power
-- Three symbols for peace
-- Two symbols for cleverness
-- One symbol for love
Lots of Luck
Make a charm necklace for a friend or family member in need of good fortune!
-- a straw
-- yarn or colored string (approximately 25-30 inches long)
1. Choose an animal, insect, or other symbol that represents the kind of good fortune you need.
2. Have an adult help you mold the clay around the straw into the symbol of your choice.
3. When the charm is finished, have an adult help you gently remove the straw, leaving a hole through the center of the clay.
4. Let your charm dry and harden.
5. Have an adult help you thread
Demi, author and illustrator of many books including "Happy New Year!" and "The Empty Pot" presents a lavishly illustrated, information-packed story about one of the most popular pastimes around the world: kite flying.
"In brilliant colors and on spacious double-page spreads, Demi depicts the origin of the Chinese holiday Ch'ing Yang
or The Double Ninth Festival, a festival of kites that takes place on September 9, the ninth day of the ninth month. Long ago in China . . . [a woman] went to a painter of holy pictures . . . and requested a picture of a dragon, 'a symbol of wealth, wisdom, power, and nobility,' but instead of an ordinary holy picture she requested the painting on a kite, in order to 'fly it right up to the sky [so] the gods in heaven will see it immediately.' Soon everyone wanted kites for their wishes and prayers, and finally, Ch'ing Yang
was born and is celebrated to this day. The kites are what's important here, and Demi fills the pages with airily desirable kites in the shapes of birds, insects, reptiles . . . and symbols captioned with their attributes. . . . This is a celebratory sort of book that is going to inspire some serious kite-making/kite-flying activities."--The Bulletin
About the Author
Demi is the talented author-illustrator of many books for children, including Happy New Year! Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'ai! and The Empty Pot.