1st ed.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Athenuem Books For Young Readers, c1996.
p. cm.
A humble artist agrees to confront the terrifying dragon that threatens to destroy his village.
Other Author:
95032166 /AC
0689319924 (cl)
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Author Biography

Marguerite W. Davol taught young children for many years at the Gorse Child Study Center at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of the picture books Black, White, Just Right; Heart of the Wood; How the Snake Got Its Hiss; and a collection of tall tales, Papa Alonzo Leatherby. Marguerite lives with her husband in South Hadley, Massachusetts. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ Ages 5^-9. In this original story set in China, a fearsome dragon wreaks havoc on the people and their crops when he awakes from his hundred-year sleep. It falls to humble artist Mi Fei to perform three tasks that will send the dragon back to sleep. When the dragon asks Mi Fei, "What is the most important thing your people have created?" Mi Fei answers, "Paper." Then the dragon makes the first challenge: bring back fire inside paper. Mi Fei consults the scrolls he has painted and ingeniously makes one into a paper lantern. Each time, by considering history and using his imagination, Mi Fei is able to fulfill his task. Sabuda, who brought pop-up paper-cutting to new heights in past books, turns to two-dimensional paper-cutting here, sculpting hand-painted tissue paper into shapes that simply blaze with power and energy. The pictures continuously surprise and delight, with the dragon's tremendous strength given ample room by the ingenious use of gatefold illustrations that allow each picture three pages instead of two. Davol's story, which pits the small and sensitive against the large and brutal, has been so cleverly crafted it sounds as if it has been told for centuries, and its outcome will be ardently appreciated by small members in the audience. ((Reviewed October 15, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Davol's (Batwings and the Curtain of Night) eloquent original Chinese tale about a humble scroll artist who saves his village is the inspiration for Sabuda's (The 12 Days of Christmas) intricate and glorious gatefolds. Mi Fei goes to see the dragon, Sui Jen, at the behest of his fellow villagers. Sui Jen will stop terrorizing Mi Fei's village if he can perform three tasks (each completed with the aid of his scrolls), the last of which is to bring him the strongest thing in the world wrapped in paper. Mi Fei brings him love in the form of a scroll depicting his beloved villagers. Sabuda, known for his artistic versatility, this time channels his zeal into creating exquisite two-dimensional cut-paper illustrations. He takes the story to epic proportions through the use of intriguing perspectives (e.g., the artist bowing before the enormous fire-breathing dragon or painting the life-saving scroll of his cherished villagers) that span three panels and are composed of tiny incisions in splattered, streaked, almost psychedelically colored tissue papers. In the climactic final scene, when Mi Fei presents his gift of love, the reader sees only the head of the great dragon (on the left). Opening the gatefold reveals a brilliant progression of color as the great head turns from deep in a paper image in the palm of the artist's hand. Both artists have come together to celebrate their gifts in this ode to the simplest of all: love. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews


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