Synopses & Reviews
"The Truth is," Ming Miao told her five kittens, "you are not Siamese cats but Chinese cats. As a matter of fact, one of our family's ancestors from a thousand cat lives ago was the famous feline Sagwa of China..."
One day Sagwa was napping in the Foolish Magistrate's study. From her perch high on a bookshelf, she heard the newest rule: No singing until the sun goes down. A terrible rule, Sagwa thought. After the Foolish Magistrate left the study, Sagwa jumped down from the bookshelf pwah! and landed right in the ink pot!
Sagwa was instantly covered with black ink, and before she knew what she was doing she rubbed her nose on the new rule, blotting out the word not. Now it ordered the people to sing all day until the sun went down.
When the people heard this new rule, they were thrilled. They raised their voices in song, praising the Foolish Magistrate for thinking of them. And when the Foolish Magistrate heard their praise, his heart warmed. From that day on, he was a wise magistrate. And Sagwa became the greatest of felines!
Gretchen Schield's detailed, colorful paintings bring Amy Tan's charming story to wonderful life, making The Chinese Siamese Cat a book to be treasured for generations to come.
"Before you go out into the world," Ming Miao told her five kittens, "you must know the true story of your ancestors...."
And so begins the story of Sagwa of China, a mischievous, pearl white kitten. Sagwa lived in the House of the Foolish Magistrate, a greedy man who made up rules that helped only himself. One day, Sagwa fell into an inkwell and accidentally changed one of the Foolish Magistrate's rules. Little did Sagwa know she would alter the fate -- and the appearance -- of Chinese cats forever!
About the Author
Amy Tan wrote her first published essay, "What the Library Means to Me," at age eight. She has since become the author of two well-known works of fiction: The Joy Luck Club, which was chosen by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults; and The Kitchen God's Wife, named a 1991 Booklist Editor's Choice. Her first book for young people was the highly praised The Moon Lady, illustrated by Gretchen Schields (Macmillan). Her recent essay, "Mother Tongue," was included in the 1991 edition of Best American Essays. Prior to writing fiction, Ms. Tan worked as a language development consultant to programs serving developmentally disabled children. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Lou DeMattei.