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The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China [Hardcover]

Leonard Everett Fisher
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2003
The accomplishments, deeds, and powers of sixteen towering figures.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Xi Wang Mu, Goddess of Immortality; Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy; Guan Gong, God of War; Zhong Kui, God of Healing-what a lineup! Some of these 17 colorful beings come from the Daoist tradition, some from Buddhism, some from traditional religions, and some from other sources, but all of them add to the richness of Chinese life. Fisher succinctly describes their origins, their powers, and their importance in Chinese culture. Each entry covers a boldly colored spread framed with a brightly contrasting border. These dramatic deities are pictured as mostly fierce and strong and somewhat distant, reflecting their power. Chops, or name seals, created for each god and goddess by Mou-sien Tseng, are shown, but their significance is not explained. A useful pronunciation guide is included. Song Nan Zhang's Five Heavenly Emperors (Tundra, 1994) and Tao Tao Liu Sanders's Dragons, Gods and Spirits from Chinese Mythology (Peter Bedrick, 1994; o.p.) cover some of the same material, but their focus is on the stories. Fisher concentrates on the individuals themselves and includes material not readily available elsewhere for children.
Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-5. Fisher continues his series about world deities with this picture-book overview of ancient Chinese mythology. Beginning with an introduction that mentions Qin Shi Huangdi, China's First Supreme Emperor, Fisher offers very brief historical and cultural background to China's deities, including the interesting point that the immortals often mirrored the status and behavior of human beings. Profiles of 17 gods and goddesses follow, each one presented on a double-page spread that includes a roughly brushed portrait opposite a few paragraphs summarizing the figure's corresponding legend. The condensed mythology may strike some as too abbreviated, and a few of the portraits appear a bit blurred and indistinct. But as in his previous mythology titles, Fisher combines concise, accessible language, colorful art, and exciting stories about figures that aren't often covered in books for youth. A note describing how the artist determined the gods' appearances might have been interesting, but with a bibliography, pronunciation guides, a glossary, and map, this will still be a useful addition to mythology units. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Acetech
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While I found the book to be interesting, it was not quite what I had expected it to be. However, I can't say that I'm displeased with my purchase. I found the stories describing the Gods and Goddesses to be quite informative and they captivated my interest on the subject. I have not found anything similar to this book at a comparable price, so, overall I would have to say I'm reasonably pleased with this purchase.
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well done but short. June 16 2012
By A. Hair - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The information that was given on the Gods and Goddesses is overall accurate however it is very, very short. Another problem are the illustrations for instance the illustration for the Queen Mother of the West isn't her typical depiction and the form they give her is very startling and I would think frightening for small children. Overall I wound up returning the book.
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing To Recommend Sept. 8 2014
By Persop - Published on Amazon.com
It is not the brevity that I take exception with. It is three things, information, presentation ans illustrations.There are many variations in print and possibly both more appropriate for children and adults? I can't envision a child gaining anything of value. The weaving maiden and cowherd is a lovely story with endless variations.This is the first time I did not inwardly say, thank you.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 2 2014
By Marvin Donatto - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Very informative.
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