Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review of The Dragon's Tale

dragonstaleThe Dragon's Tale and Other Animal Fables of the Chinese Zodiac has a collection of stories with a moral, one for each of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

For example, there is a story called The Dragon's Tale about a bunch of fish who live in a river.  They think that the river is the biggest place in the world, until they get out into the sea.  There, they meet a Dragon King who tells them that although all the rivers empty into the sea, even the sea is only a tiny part of the vastness of the universe.

The moral of this story is that: "The more you know, the more you know there is to know."

I don't agree with that moral.  I think that even though all there is to know is a lot, covering the universe and all the dimensions, there is a limit to all that there is to know.  So, you can know everything, but your head might explode.

Demi's illustrations are good, but not as beautiful as her paintings in The Magic Tapestry.

I recommend this book to young children because they have a lot to learn.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review of The Magic Tapestry

magic_tapestry In The Magic Tapestry: A Chinese Folktale a magic tapestry gets whisked away in the winds by fairies, and one of three brothers has to get it back.

Demi, the author illustrator, writes with attitude, like when one of the brothers was in the mountain of fire, she wrote:

"Flames roared all around him, but he clenched his fists and uttered not a sound."

This book is exciting, and keeps you reading because you want to see what happens next. This book stands out among the Chinese fairy tales because it has the exhilarating touch with fast paced action.

The illustrations are ink pen and paper drawn. Demi likes to use crushed jade in her drawings. Wouldn't that get expensive? I don't know, but it makes for beautiful paintings.

I recommend this book to people who like beautiful paintings and exciting Chinese fairy tales.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Moon Lady Review

moon_lady The Moon Lady, written by Amy Tan and illustrated by Gretchen Schields, is like a pastry, with a bread-like crust of Chinese culture on the outside, and a cream filling of a moral on the inside. Every glance at the words on the page is like taking a bite out of it.

I highly recommend this book to kids who want to learn about Chinese culture.

In this book, a little girl goes on a boat trip during the Moon Festival. She falls off and gets lost. Then, the Moon Lady descends from the moon and the girl shouts out that she wishes to be found because the Moon Lady grants wishes. Later, her family finds her and the story ends.

The moral to this story is that the best wishes can be made true by yourself. The girl fulfilled her own wish by finding her family.

It has beautiful illustrations of a Chinese town. One illustration shows the singing cricket escaping it's cage. Another shows two boys fishing using a seagull who gets dropped into the water so he can catch fish in his mouth, and then the boys took the fish out of his mouth before he could eat it. (Those aren't fish that I would want to eat!) It also has a lot of different colorful temple illustrations.

This book was given to my mom by my aunt over twenty years ago.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Review of Made In China

made_in_china Made In China, by Deborah Nash, is about a paper butterfly who gets lost and needs to find his way home. The paper butterfly meets with a dragon who asks, "What was made in China 2,000 years ago and is still in use today?"

Paper, of course.

The paper butterfly goes all around China, passing great landmarks like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. Finally, he finds another paper butterfly who answers the riddle.

This books contains all sorts of things that add to your appreciation of China: paper cut illustrations, a map of China, and instructions on making paper butterflies.

I recommend this book to kids who want to learn about China.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Shen of the Sea Book Review

shen Ever wonder about where Oolong Tea, Printing, and Chop Sticks came from?  In this book, called Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie, you will find out.  Shen of the Sea is a collection of Chinese folk tales.  This book introduces a lot of Chinese history and culture.
One of the stories in this book introduces Oolong Tea.  Did you know drinking tea in China is very popular and is offered whenever someone visits?  The story behind Oolong Tea is that a witch made a man sleep all the time, but he saved her from a dragon so she put caffeine in a plant he uses to make tea.  The creation of Oolong Tea had a big impact on China.
Another folk tale in this book is called, "Ah Mees' Invention."  In this story, a boy throws a wooden block with jam at a wall; thus inventing printing.  Printing is when you get an object and put a fluid on it and place it against a surface.  The creation of printing was a very big event in China's history.
Yet another folk tale is called "Chop Sticks."  In this story there is a really good cook who married and become king.  The wife had three brothers.  Each brother tried to kill him with a different kind of utensil.  So the king became afraid of eating utensils.  So he used two sticks.  Chop Sticks are the eating utensils used throughout China.
This book is a wonderful collection of folk tales.  I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Chinese history and culture.
More Blog Posts in the China Unit:
Not a Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony - Video
Review of Lon Po Po
Kids Tour Chinatown - Video

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Animal Clues

Yesterday, I went looking for clues on where animals were. We found out where a buck had been. We knew he was there because there was a scratched off part on a tree where his antlers had rubbed. We were originally just going for a walk but Mom had me read the book In the snow: who's been here. It was really icy. We had a lot of fun but we had to hide form a killer squirrel.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Roblox is my favorite game. In it you can play and make games. My user name is leperdy. If you play it you can send me a message. Pleeeeeeeeas play it.
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