The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks: 4

Katherine Paterson, Author, Virginia Buckley, Editor, Diane Dillon, Illustrator
Katherine Paterson, Author, Virginia Buckley, Editor, Diane Dillon, Illustrator Dutton Books $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-67283-8
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
In another picture book retelling of a Japanese folktale, Paterson ( The Tongue-Cut Sparrow ) recounts the story of Shozo, a one-eyed Samurai unjustly forced to be a servant, and Yasuko, a kitchen maid. They befriend a mandarin duck who pines for his mate while kept in captivity by a fearsome lord. When Yasuko releases the duck, both servants are sentenced to death, but they are subsequently saved by two mysterious imperial messengers who care for them throughout the night and disappear, leaving in their place the two mandarin ducks. Yasuko and Shozo live happily from that time on because ``as they had learned years before, trouble can always be borne when it is shared.'' Paterson's story is rich with magic, compassion and love. The Dillons' elegantly detailed watercolor and pastel drawings, in the style of 18th-century Japanese woodcuts, are exquisite. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
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