Synopses & Reviews
One day, a poor flower sellers drops his leftover flowers into the sea as a gift for the Dragon King. What does he get in return? A little snot-nosed boy--with the power to grant wishes! Soon the flower seller is rich, but when he forgets the meaning of "thank you," he loses everything once again. "You just can't help some humans," say the snot-nosed little boy and the Dragon King.
"MacDonald's (How Many Donkeys?) version of this Japanese folktale offers minor grossness and big laughs, with a moral tossed in; Yoshikawa's (The Last Day of Kindergarten) digitally enhanced watercolors, correspondingly, go for humor over elegance. A flower seller's gift from the Dragon King beneath the sea is a runny-nosed boy who only eats one thing: 'ou must make shrimp for him every day,' the boy's chaperone directs. 'Put in vinegar. Put in sugar. He likes it like that.' Like the magic flounder in the Grimm Brothers' tale, the boy has the power to grant wishes, but the flower seller is too ungrateful to enjoy his new palace and servants, and too annoyed by the boy's horrible nose-blowing and demanding diet to tolerate him for very long: 'Go on back to the sea where you belong,' he says. Readers will be ready for the flower seller's comeuppance and the sorrowful clucking of the snot-nosed boy back at home under the sea: 'You just can't help some humans,' he says. Perhaps, the tale suggests, even great wealth is not free of annoyances. Ages 4 7. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A poor flower seller does not understand the concepts of generosity or thankfulness and soon loses all his easily-gained wealth.