1st ed.
Publisher, Date:
New York : HarperCollins, c1997.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
A poor farmer's youngest daughter agrees to marry a fierce dragon in order to save her father's life.
Other Author:
95011091 /AC
0060243937 (lib. bdg.)
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Control Number:
Call Number:
E 398.2 DRAGO
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Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

Gr. 4^-6, younger for reading aloud. A small, harmless water serpent that is saved from death by a young teen changes into an immense dragon and threatens a poor farmer's life. The farmer's only chance lies in convincing one of his seven daughters to marry the dragon. Readers familiar with fairy tales may guess that the youngest and prettiest daughter, who was the serpent's savior, will agree to the marriage to save her father. In this Chinese variant of "Beauty and the Beast," dragon and girl soar into the night sky and then plunge into a deep sea, where the girl's courage and character are tested again before she discovers that her future husband is a handsome human and ruler of the sea kingdom. After spending some time in her husband's kingdom, she visits her family's home, where both her inner and her outward strength are further tested. Mak's illustrations dramatically combine realism and fantasy. The suspense of the story and the charm of its language should appeal to readers of different ages. A good choice for reading aloud. ((Reviewed July 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews

For aficionados of the "Beauty and the Beast" theme, this Southern Chinese adaptation of a traditional Chinese tale gains notability through Yep's (Dragonwings) elegant, carefully crafted storytelling. Seven, the seventh and youngest daughter of a poor farmer, consents to marry a dragon in order to save her father's life. The courageous girl soon perceives a strange beauty beneath the dragon's ferocity. Touching his cheek, she says, "I know the loom and stove and many ordinary things, but my hand has never touched wonder." The dragon then dances, "curling his powerful body as easily as a giant golden ribbon" and spins until he becomes "a column of light, and from the light stepped a handsome prince." An original twist involves an attempt by Seven's vindictive sister, Three, to usurp her riches and position. In contrast to Yep's fluent prose, Mak's visual imagery appears disjointed. Incongruously lifelike representations of the characters tend to chafe against the narrative's fantasy elements rather than ushering readers through the magical journey. Although skillfully and radiantly rendered (especially one painting of the dragon's watery home, with fish and kelp in the foreground), the illustrations adorn rather than enrich this alluring tale. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews


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