cover image Dragons Robe

Dragons Robe

Deborah Nourse Lattimore, Lattimore. HarperCollins, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023719-6

Elegantly told in the manner of a classic fairy tale, Lattimore's fable is set in China in the 13th century, a time when the dragon was believed to be ``king of the heavens and ruler of fortune on earth.'' Young Kwan Yin is an orphan girl who travels with her loom, receiving food and shelter in exchange for weaving. Learning that there is a reward for weaving a dragon robe for the Emperor, she sets off for the palace. On her way, she befriends a sick old man who turns out to be the Emperor himself. The man says he is the keeper of the dragon shrine, and bravely Kwan Yin helps him protect it from a greedy overseer and general in the kingdom. In the end, Kwan Yin's goodness serves as a foil against the forces of evil, both within the kingdom and outside it. In burnished tones of brown and gold, Lattimore's intricate, sumptuous paintings transform each spread into a rich tapestry. Ages 6-10. (Mar.)