cover image The Stonecutter: Chinese

The Stonecutter: Chinese

Demi, Hitz Demi. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59864-1

The prolific author/artist brings her characteristically luxurious taste to this folktale, a Chinese equivalent of The Fisherman and His Wife. Here, it is a stonecutter who is granted his wishes to be turned into ever more powerful entities--until he learns, predictably, that ``being a stonecutter is best after all.'' Burnished gold backgrounds made of Chinese silk fill each spread, canvases for Demi's delicate pen-and-ink drawings and paintings. A harmonious sense of balance informs these compositions, the use of space complementing an underlying fluidity of movement (e.g., an angel's flowing robes, the swirling dragons of the sun). Sure to satisfy Demi's many fans. Ages 4-8. (May)