"This Southern Chinese adaptation of a traditional Chinese tale gains notability through Yep's elegant, carefully crafted storytelling," said PW. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grade 1-5?Yep presents a polished, touching retelling of a story he calls "a Southern Chinese version of a traditional Chinese tale." When a poor farmer falls into the clutches of a dragon, he begs each of his seven daughters to save him from death by marrying the horrifying creature. At last, the youngest consents. The dragon carries Seven (the daughters are named in birth order, following Chinese tradition) to his home under the sea. Far from being frightened, Seven is full of wonder. When she tells the dragon, "The eye sees what it will, but the heart sees what it should," the monster turns into a handsome prince. They live happily until Seven longs to return home. There, her jealous third sister tries to drown her and takes her place as mistress of the dragon's palace. Then the Prince must go searching for his lost bride. Lavish, hyperrealistic paintings appear opposite each page of text, with two wordless double-page spreads interspersed. However, few of the paintings begin to capture the shivery wonder of the narrative. Most are too literal to illuminate the mood of the story, and leave little scope for the imagination. In the version included in Betsy Hearne's Beauties and Beasts (Oryx, 1993), the monster bridegroom is a snake. Here, the snake transforms itself into a dragon, increasing the excitement and danger. Still, Yep's version of this romantic adventure celebrates resilience and understanding.?Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.