The Magical Monkey King: Mischief in Heaven

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9780060295448: The Magical Monkey King: Mischief in Heaven
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"I am Stone Monkey, born of Heaven and Earth," he said. "I'm so brave, I'll do anything."

"Bragging! Bragging!" the other monkeys jeered.

Monkey did not say a word. He just laughed then he jumped. He jumped higher than the highest trees in the forest, somersaulted, and landed on his feet in front of the astonished monkeys.

"Will you truly make me your king?" he asked.

Chinese children grow up hearing stories about the Monkey King. Here is a series of these stories retold with humor and affection by Ji-li Jiang, the author Of Red Scarf Girl (an ALA Notable Book), and charmingly illustrated in the style of classic Chinese prints by Hui Hui Su-Kennedy.

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About the Author:

Ji-li Jiang was born in Shanghai, China, in 1954. She graduated from Shanghai Teachers' College and Shanghai University and was a science teacher before she came to the United States in 1984. After her graduation from the University of Hawaii, Ms. Jiang worked as an operations analyst for a hotel chain in Hawaii,then as budget director for a health-care company in Chicago. In 1992 she started her own company, East West Exchange, to promote cultural exchange between Western countries and China.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-6-One of the best-loved figures in Chinese popular culture is the trickster Monkey King. Early traditional stories about him coalesced into Wu Cheng-en's 16th-century epic novel Journey to the West, which uses 100 chapters to chronicle the insouciant, courageous hero's adventures. In this engaging version of his story, Jiang begins with Monkey's birth on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits. After proving himself to the monkey tribe, who choose him as their king, Monkey tries to learn the secret of immortality, travels under the sea to steal a powerful weapon from the Dragon King, and wreaks havoc at the heavenly court of the Jade Emperor. Only Buddha can stop his mischief, and does so in a scene that works as exciting action and profound metaphor. Lively, colloquial language distinguishes this telling, and Su-Kennedy's black-and-white woodcuts enhance the action. Jiang's format serves the old tale better than the two picture-book retellings currently available, Ed Young's Monkey King (HarperCollins, 2001) and Robert Kraus and Debby Chen's The Making of Monkey King (Pan Asian, 1998). David Kherdian's Monkey: A Journey to the West (Shambhala, 1992) abridges the entire story for adults and is accessible to middle and high school students. Jiang's is the best version for elementary school students, and libraries will want it as a good story for younger fantasy lovers, whether or not it is used as an introduction to authentic Chinese literature.
Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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