The Cricket's Cage: A Chinese Folktale

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9780786822348: The Cricket's Cage: A Chinese Folktale
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The emperor of China orders the design of his towers to be perfect or the architect will be put to death, but when Kuai Xiang is forced to take on this very difficult task, he finds a friend in his newly adopted cricket, Pipa, who helps him along the way.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3. This picture-book version of a legend about the Forbidden City is drawn from Chinese sources. The Emperor Yongle, an actual historical figure, builds the most magnificent palace his country has ever seen, but is profoundly dissatisfied with the plans for towers that his minister offers him. At last, the impatient emperor gives the minister three days to come up with a new plan, or lose his head. The minister in turn threatens the Master Builder who in turn threatens the carpenter. The poor carpenter, having no one to threaten and no new ideas, accepts a cricket as a gift from an old friend. Preparing for death, he listens sadly to the insect's song. The cricket likes its new owner but not the small cage he has been given. While the man sleeps, the creature dips its antennae in ink and draws the cage of its dreams. Guess who recognizes cricket's design as the tower of his dreams! A pattern of dragons embroidered on imperial yellow silk surrounds rectangles of art and text. The illustrations are done in bold colors: red, black, blue, and bright green, evoking the colors of the Forbidden City. Stylized and still, the paintings are strong on design but short on emotional engagement. A Chinese poem and an exemplary source note helps place the story in context. Authentic in art and text, and building to a satisfying conclusion, the book is a useful addition where Chinese stories are needed.?Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 6^-9. Magic plays a role in this retelling of an old Chinese folktale involving a cricket (thought in China to be an omen of good luck) who brings more than simple good fortune to a young and kindly carpenter. The carpenter's cricket uses his antennae to draw the design for the royal watchtowers of the Forbidden City. The design, which has previously eluded human architects and builders, pleases the emperor, which saves the royal minister, the master builder, and the carpenter from having their heads cut off. Youngsters will find the story's conflict compelling enough to sort through the parade of characters quickly introduced at the tale's beginning. The artwork, which utilizes Chinese character writing, bright colors, and traditional designs, adds a feel of authenticity to the folktale. Czernecki positions text and illustrations over borders of bright yellow embroidered dragon motifs. An author's note includes more information, and an English translation of a poem that appears in an illustration is provided. Karen Morgan

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786802968: The Cricket's Cage

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0786802960 ISBN 13:  9780786802968
Publisher: Hyperion, 1997
Hardcover

9780756790462: Cricket's Cage: A Chinese Folktale

Diane ..., 1996
Hardcover

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