cover image Chen Ping and His Magic Axe

Chen Ping and His Magic Axe

Demi. Dodd Mead, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-396-08907-0

In this story of traditional Chinese wisdom, Chen Ping, a poor and content boy, works for a rich and greedy master. He chops wood and takes loving care of all animals. When his axe falls into the river as he's crossing a bridge, he has some firewood to attend to. An old man with a long white beard appears to lend a hand. Honest Chen Ping refuses to lie about a silver axe and a golden one when given a chance to substitute either for his real axe. That is not true of his malevolent master, who is doomed to perish from his own greed. In this plainly told tale of opposing moral concepts, the clarity of the text and intention are matched by illustrations of an ordered landscape of ups and downs, good and bad animals, real and imaginary events. Toy-like animals and blithe color intonations are sure to have an immediate audience. Ages 48. (April)