The Dragons of Pan Gu

Kevin White, illus. by Rex White. Chimeric Press (www.chimericpress.com), $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-9847122-6-7
The White siblings (Chasing Watermelons) offer a somewhat esoteric story based on Chinese creation myth. After solitary Pan Gu, who "walked in the void of the heavens," shapes the Earth, he realizes that it "will need a source of power... or it will not grow." Pan Gu, a round figure sketched in white against the murky backdrop of the skies, forms a black dragon that breathes frost and snow. Since Earth remains barren, Pan Gu then creates a white dragon whose "breath was smoke and fire," and the dragons engage in a struggle for control, ending in a yin and yang–type balance that allows the Earth to flourish. The narrative itself grapples with clarity and obscurity (when creating the Earth, Pan Gu "felt the forming of it in his mind, so he labored through a thought and a time, and before the second time could pass he reached into the void and formed the seed." Happily, the Whites close their story on a more intimate note, as a Chinese man and his grandson discuss the "wisdom in the balance" of opposites, including young and old. Ages 3–6.
Reviewed on: 08/26/2013
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