THE MASTER SWORDSMAN AND THE MAGIC DOORWAY: Two Legends from Ancient China

Alice Provensen, Retold by, Alice Provensen, Author THE MASTER SWORDSMAN AND THE MAGIC DOORWAY: Two Legends fro $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-83232-1

Two inspiring tales of paradox from the Middle Kingdom captivate Caldecott winner Provensen (The Glorious Flight; A Visit to William Blake's Inn). In the first, the Master, who maintains that he no longer teaches, trains his apprentice Little Chu in an unorthodox way to develop the lightning instincts that will make the boy an extraordinary swordsman. In exquisitely timed painted panels, Provensen chronicles the boy's improving skills until one day Little Chu successfully dodges the Master's sword—and the man bequeaths to him the weapon and releases him from service ("You will never need to draw it. No enemy can touch you. Use the sword to chop cabbage"). In the second tale, a greedy emperor commissions a great wall painting by Mu Chi, then plots to behead him so that the artist can never top his work for the emperor. But the painter outsmarts the ruler. Taken together, the tales contrast the outcome of generosity versus parsimony. Both the action-packed panels in the first story and the spreads in the second contain traditional Chinese motifs; the paintings never lose their simplicity of line and narrative clarity. Oil painting on cream-colored vellum and calligraphy-like type add to the feeling of ageless calm. These magic tales with impeccable visual pacing prove once again that Provensen is a master storyteller and a consummate artist. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/29/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-4814-2874-3
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X