cover image The Greatest Treasure

The Greatest Treasure

Demi. Scholastic, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-31339-1

""He who has heaven in his heart is never poor,"" says a farmer's wife in this simple, graceful adaptation of a Chinese folktale. Pang, a rich man, spends all his time counting his money, neglecting his wife and five sons. Meanwhile Li, who is poor, often plays his flute for his wife and five daughters to dance to. When Li's playing interrupts Pang's counting, Pang gives Li a bag of money to keep him busy--and it works. But Li soon realizes what he--and Pang--are missing, and comes up with a solution that gladdens both families. Demi's (One Grain of Rice) playful illustrations employ a variety of media, from white ground oyster shell to black pine-soot ink, plus her characteristic gold metallic tone. The colors are unusually intense and the general effect lustrous. The circular compositions, set atop lightly figured backgrounds, possess a sheen that creates the effect of Chinese porcelain plates on damask cloth. Stylish and accessible. All ages. (Sept.)