Demi The Greatest Treasure

ISBN 13: 9780439141352

The Greatest Treasure

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9780439141352: The Greatest Treasure
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In this elegant retelling of a traditional Chinese tale, adorned by Demi's exquisitely detailed artwork, a poor farmer discovers that life's greatest treasure lies in his own heart. Full color.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-A picture-book adaptation of a Chinese folktale included in Wolfram Eberhard's scholarly collection The Folktales of China (University of Chicago, 1965; o.p.). Originally titled "Money Makes Cares," the story contrasts a wealthy man, Pang, with a poor one, Li. Pang is so busy counting his money that he has no time to play with his five sons or enjoy life. Li, his neighbor, works his small farm, yet also plays the flute so that his five daughters can sing and dance. Pang, disturbed by their music and laughter, gives Li a bag of gold coins. As Pang expects, Li becomes obsessed with counting the money and thinking of ways to spend it. For a time, the music and laughter are stilled. Then Li's wife recalls a proverb, "He who has heaven in his heart is never poor," which inspires Li to return the money and give Pang another gift as well. A small note identifies the reteller's source as Leslie Bonnet's Chinese Folk and Fairy Tales (Putnam, 1958; o.p.) While the earlier tales portrayed the rich man as a workaholic manager, Demi casts him as a miser, downplays the role of his wife, and makes the children important supporting actors. Her small decorative figures enact the story inside one circular frame per page. The artwork, executed with Chinese brushes in bright colors, subtly evokes 18th-century European porcelain plates. Unfortunately, one or two images don't quite connect to a narrative event. This humorous celebration of family values and the simple life belongs in larger collections where more Chinese folklore is needed.
Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 4^-8. Demi's latest picture book retells a traditional Chinese tale about the true meaning of wealth. Pang is a rich, Scrooge-like character who spends his days counting his coins. His poor neighbor Li works a small farm and spends his leisure time playing his flute while his children sing and dance. When the noise of the merriment distracts Pang from his counting, he gives Li a gift of coins to keep him busy. At first Li is delighted, but soon he becomes overwhelmed by worries related to his windfall: What should he do with the money? Where should he put it? Eventually he gives it back, along with a set of flutes for Pang's family. Pang can't resist the happiness the new gift brings: Li has given him friendship and peace of mind. Demi's pictures, on marbled paper backgrounds, with the distinct line and color of Chinese artwork, are in perfect harmony with the story, which is at once intricate and simple. The book will be wonderful for story hours as well as for lap sharing, and it will also provide a springboard for interesting discussions about wealth and the value of simple pleasures. Helen Rosenberg

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780590313391: The Greatest Treasure

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0590313398 ISBN 13:  9780590313391
Publisher: Scholastic, 1998
Hardcover

9780153143571: The Greatest Treasure

Harcou..., 2001
Softcover

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