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Yeh Hsien discovers that the bones of the beautiful fish she has caught, and which her envious stepmother plots to kill for supper, are magic wishbones that transport her, like Cinderella, to the exciting Cave Festival.
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Barbara Ker Wilson is a well-known reviewer, writer and publisher, with a long-standing interest in folklore. She now lives in Australia.
Kindergarten-Grade 6-Another version of the Chinese Cinderella story that will be familiar to readers of Al-Ling Louie's Yeh Shen (Philomel, 1990). The story comes from aboriginal tribes in the area of Yongzhou in what is now Guangxi province, and was first redacted by the Tang Dynasty scholar Duan Cheng-shi in the mid-800s. Besides the obligatory stepmother and stepsister, Yeh Hsien (as romanized here) has a pet fish as a wise confidant. The stepmother secretly kills and eats it, but a spirit tells Yeh Hsien where to find the bones, which turn out to be magic, laying the groundwork for the happy ending. Wilson's retelling is clever, as is her chosen title, and reads aloud well. More details are included, such as Yeh Hsien's new husband wearing out the bones's magic, without impairing the tale's momentum. So's magical watercolor illustrations are bright, vibrant, and droll. The stepmother and stepsister often mirror each other's actions with comic effect. The free, folksy style draws on Chinese and non-Han motifs, being influenced as well by modern Chinese masters, notably Qi Bai-shi. Children will delight in this clever retelling and be dazzled by the truly splendid illustrations.
John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Atheneum, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110027931250
Book Description Atheneum, 1993. Condition: New. Meilo So (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0027931250
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0027931250
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0027931250