Demi Confucius: Great Teacher of China

ISBN 13: 9781620141939

Confucius: Great Teacher of China

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9781620141939: Confucius: Great Teacher of China
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His sayings are repeated throughout the world. His teachings set the course of Chinese society for 2,500 years. But Confucius remains merely a name to many readers, rather than the central figure of world history that he deserves to be. Now award-winning author-illustrator Demi illuminates his life and influence in this elegant biography that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Confucius loved books and learning, but he grew up during a time of great suffering and warfare in China. Troubled by the chaos he saw all around him, he devoted his life to reforming his society and government, with ideas about education and leadership that still resonate today. He encouraged everyone -- especially rulers -- to live moral lives, emphasizing the value of tradition and compassion. And five hundred years before Jesus set forth his Golden Rule, Confucius declared his Golden Mean: "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."

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About the Author:

DEMI is an author and illustrator of more than one hundred books for children, mostly biographies and folklore. She is known for her perceptive texts and elegant illustrations with golden accents, and her books have received numerous awards and accolades, among them ALA Notable Children's Books, The New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, the Middle East Book Award, and the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world. Demi has traveled extensively and studied art in Mexico, India, and China. She lives with her husband in Carnation, Washington.

Review:

This deftly illustrated picture book introduces Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher and teacher, to young readers. In the preface, the author clarifies that Confucius' life is "shrouded in legend," hence the juxtaposition of mythological and realistic characters to tell his story. It starts before Confucius was born, when a mythological creature, the qilin, presents Confucius' mother with a jade tablet engraved with the words "Your child will be a king without a crown." Confucius' potential for greatness is obvious from boyhood. He believes in the importance of ritual, and of all his activities, "he love[s] reading and studying most." As an adult, Confucius sees despair in the world around him and decides the best way to influence society is through education and eventually opens a school. He welcomes not only the wealthy, but also the poor, believing everyone should be given a chance to lead, and his teachings emphasize the need to govern with compassion and just behavior. Demi incorporates her subject's own words, taken from various translations of his Analects, throughout her account. Hues of blue, red, and her signature gold pop from the flat, two-dimensional scenes, which are framed in auspicious colors of red and gold. The lack of depth and perspective and the inclusion of symbolic creatures recall traditional Chinese paintings. An appealing biography done in classic Demi tradition, suitable for readers interested in Confucianism and its impact on Chinese culture and values. --Kirkus Reviews

Illustrating in a delicate style that strongly evokes her ancient Chinese setting, Demi introduces the life and teachings of Confucius (known as Kongzi in China), blending facts and legends surrounding the educator and philosopher. Mythical stories surround Confucius s birth ( One adds that a comet, two protective dragons, and five old men representing the planets and stars appeared in the sky to celebrate ), and Demi explains how his desire to bring order to the social and political turmoil of his era led him to enter government. But his true triumphs came through teaching, and Demi incorporates his philosophies throughout ( In both government and private life, perhaps the most important word to Confucius was shu... which means compassion or open-heartedness ), giving readers a rich understanding of his beliefs and impact. --Publishers Weekly

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