The villagers' plan to create a splendid garden for their emperor gets bogged down in jealous arguments, happily resolved when the emperor himself comes to visit
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It was a poor but agreeable village in China, where all could call each other a friend. The villagers decided to build a beautiful garden down by the river to attract a visit from the emperor, who passed through the village on the way to his summer palace in the north. When it came time to name the pleasure garden, a note of disharmony arose: The bricklayer disputed the name suggested by the stonecutter, the farmer disagreed with the gardener, the carpenter wasn't impressed with the ditchdigger's choice. Each wanted his work to be honored in the name. Unneighborly accusations flew, families spatted, bitterness reigned. Then the monsoon came and cut short their bickering, flooding and ruining much of the garden. But the emperor had gotten wind of the villagers' toils and requested to see the garden when he passed through. The emperor marveled at the garden's simplicity and took great pleasure in its quietude, all that was left of what once was. He advised the villagers to name it the Garden of Supreme Harmony, and the story comes full circle. A fine little cautionary tale, complemented by Osborn's pictures: smart, flat stylizations, rich in color and detail. (Picture book. 5+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-4-In old China, an emperor quickly passed through a poor village every year on his way to the summer palace. To entice him to linger, the villagers send a letter inviting him to see a garden they are making for him. When it is completed, the people cannot agree on a name; each citizen thinks his or her own contribution is the most important. Finally, a storm wrecks the garden just before the royal arrival. Insisting on visiting the site anyway, the emperor finds everything to his taste and gives it an appropriate name. This slender, original tale is told in a pleasant manner, though the dialogue is often a tad stilted. The colorful illustrations are strongly indebted to 18th-century European chinoiserie (Thomas Chippendale, et al.). In fact, many could pass as illustrations for Goldoni comedies. Osborn excels in phantasmagorical landscapes and buildings; the storm scene is especially effective. Human figures look European and often appear to be half asleep. Strictly for those who enjoy heavily stylized productions.
John Philbrook, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Tambourine, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0688116515
Book Description Tambourine, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Kathy Osborn (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0688116515
Book Description Tambourine, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688116515