The Bee and the Dream: A Japanese Tale

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9780525452874: The Bee and the Dream: A Japanese Tale

Shin spots a bee on the nose of her sleeping friend, Tasuke, who awakens to tell her that he has dreamed of a treasure in the city of Naniwa, but he decides not to pursue his vision, leaving Shin to go on her own adventure-filled journey to find the hidden treasure.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3?This dramatic retelling of a Japanese folktale opens as two hard-working peasants lie down for a midday rest. Restless and wakeful, Shin witnesses a bee fly out of the sleeping Tasuke's nose. When Tasuke awakens, he claims no knowledge of the bee, but tells his friend of the dream he's had about digging up a jar of gold from a rich man's garden. Shin, intrigued, persuades Tasuke to sell him the dream. Using borrowed cash, Shin travels far to track down the treasure. The plot takes some surprising twists and turns, but eventually proves the maxim that ends the folktale: "If good fortune/is meant for you,/no matter what happens,/it will be yours." Rich in details of traditional Japanese life, Ono's carefully composed watercolors perfectly complement the text. The earthy, expressive paintings are gently humorous and authentic in style and content. According to the source note, the author borrowed five "ideophones"?sound words from an oral transcription of the tale in Richard Dorson's Folktales Told Around the World (Univ. of Chicago, 1978)?and relied on several other printed English sources, which she does not name. While variants of the tale appear in adult collections, this handsomely designed, well-written, and engaging picture-book version is unique.?Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

This quietly charged retelling of a Japanese folktale builds on a tantalizing premise, that dreams do not always belong to their dreamers. As hardworking peasants Shin and Tasuke rest on a hillside, fidgety Shin watches his friend nap and is shocked to see a bee fly out of his nose. Shin's amazement at this odd occurrence recedes when he hears Tasuke's marvelous dream of a jar of gold buried in a certain faraway garden. Unable to convince Tasuke of the dream's significance, Shin offers to buy it. Then he embarks on the perilous journey to the garden, where a greedy aristocrat beats him to the jar and lets loose its contents?a swarm of bees. When the dejected Shin returns home, his exultant wife tells him of "angry bees" that flew through the house and left in their wake a drift of treasures. Newcomer Long's characters express a guileless humanity; Ono, a Japanese illustrator making her American debut, adds humor through her paintings' playful, fluid lines. A Japanese saying at the beginning of the tale, that it's lucky to see a bee fly from someone's nose, may mystify American readers, but the conclusion, "If good fortune is meant for you, no matter what happens, it will be yours," is at once appealingly clear and mystical. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jan Freeman Long
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