DEMI DEMI Kites

ISBN 13: 9780517800492

Kites

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9780517800492: Kites
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With the signature style and extraordinary artistry that have won her a loyal following, Demi tells the story of how kites came to be.  Long ago in China, holy painters would paint the townspeople's wishes on paper to be left in temples for the gods to see and grant.  But one day, an impatient mother who wanted her son to grow up strong and wise, had a holy painter paint a dragon, the symbol of strength and wisdom, on a kite.  She then flew the kite up to the heavens where the gods lived so they would see the wish sooner and grant it more quickly.  Kites also explains the significance of different kinds of kite symbols, provides information about kite festivals celebrated around the world, and gives clear, kid-friendly directions for making and painting kites. Demi combines, beautiful artwork, an easy story-telling style, and good solid information about one of the world's most popular hobbies.

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Review:

Have you ever flown a kite high in the sky and wondered if something or someone up there might see it? Long ago in China, kites were used to send messages--and special wishes--to the gods. In Kites: Magic Wishes That Fly Up to the Sky, well-loved artist Demi tells a story of a mother who orders such a kite from a painter of holy pictures to help her son be strong and wise:

She said, "I want a picture of a dragon, the symbol of wealth, wisdom, power, and nobility, so that my son will grow up big and strong. But I do not want an ordinary picture. I want you to paint it as a kite with strings. Then I can fly it right up to the sky and the gods in heaven will see it immediately, instead of having to come down to this temple."
This tactic seemed to work, as her son immediately seemed "bigger and stronger, richer and nobler" to everyone who saw him. It wasn't long before the villagers flocked to the painter wanting magic kites, too. They asked for bird kites that would symbolize everything from good luck to peace, insect kites for love and industry, flowers, animals, gods, Buddhas, and more. On lovely, intricate double-page spreads, Demi illustrates these intricate kites, and short captions describe the symbolism of each image. Her fictional story then melds into a more factual discussion of the development of the festival of kites, held on the ninth day of the ninth month: "On this day, kite-flying is taken as a symbol of rising higher and higher, being better and better, stronger, smarter, and finer in everything one does." The book ends with step-by-step instructions on how to make a kite... right up to the final moment: "Ready, Set, Fly!" From tadpoles to elaborate butterflies, kids will find plenty to marvel at in this visually stunning history of "magic kites," and they may never look at a sky-flying kite in quite the same way again. (Ages 5 to 9)

From the Back Cover:

"Extravagantly detailed parade of kites flies across the pages."--The Horn Book Magazine

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DEMI, DEMI
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (1999)
ISBN 10: 0517800497 ISBN 13: 9780517800492
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