Mulan: A Story in Chinese and English

Li Jian. Better Link (Tuttle, dist.), $16.95 (44p) ISBN 978-1-60220-986-2
This bilingual offering adapts the centuries-old folk song “The Ballad of Mulan.” Washed with pale blues, reds, tans, and greens, Li’s artwork offers a strong connection to both the setting and to traditional styles of Chinese ink painting. English-speaking readers, however, may find the translation lacking. The tone is often flatly declarative (“Mulan decided to disguise herself as a man and go to war on her father’s behalf to fulfill her father’s duty to protect the country”) as it rapidly ticks off the events in her life, giving little sense of why her legend has endured. Ages 4–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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