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Book by Davison, Katherine
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Grade 2-5-Four stories from the traditional literature of Asia express human wonder about the moon. In Siberia, Porcupine cleverly retrieves the Sky King's mirrors, the sun and moon, which the Earth King had stolen. A poor Japanese bamboo cutter and his wife raise the beautiful Princess Moonlight, who turns down the Emperor's offer of marriage to take her rightful place in the sky. Koreans explain that a stubborn fire dog is responsible for the waxing and waning of the moon, while a Burmese tale, "The Plot to Steal the Moon," recalls the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Smooth, vivid writing makes these selections entertaining to tell or read aloud; the collection's theme suggests intriguing connections with science or social studies. Ignore the overly apologetic introduction and celebrate the specific source notes at the end of the book. This title complements Natalia Belting's classic almanac of moon lore, Calendar Moon (Holt, 1964; o.p.), but does not duplicate any book currently in print. Watercolor illustrations, reminiscent of Ivan Iakovlevich Bilibin's work in their flat, decorative quality, add cultural context.
Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. In four folktales retold from Asian myths, ancient people interpret the moon and its phases. From Siberia comes "Porcupine and the Sky Mirrors," a tale of greed and hospitality ultimately defining the gold (brighter) sun and silver (cooler) moon. Japan gives us "When the Moon's Child Came to Live on Earth," the story of Princess Moonlight sent to Earth by her father, the Moon, so that she might better understand her eventual task of guarding the darkness for humankind. "The Fire Dog That Bites the Moon" is a Korean folktale explaining the moon's phases; and "The Plot to Steal the Moon," a Burmese variation of the Tower of Babel story, features a regimented people at odds with the moon's movement and phases. Each tale, illustrated with watercolors that augment the luminous quality of this gentle compilation, enhances and expands scientific theory with literary tradition, melding past and present. Frances Bradburn
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Book Description Carolrhoda Books, 1994. Condition: New. Thomas A. Rosborough (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0876147511