cover image Peach Blossom Spring: Adapted from a Chinese Tale

Peach Blossom Spring: Adapted from a Chinese Tale

Fergus M. Bordewich. Simon & Schuster, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-78710-3

In this sophisticated adaptation of a traditional Chinese tale, an impoverished fisherman stumbles upon a secret utopia, but loses his place within it when he breaks a promise to its residents. Bordewich's storytelling is understated yet evocative: ``Farmers were stacking hay on curving terraces, bending and folding, bending and folding''; exotic birds with ``tiny flutes tied to their wings'' swoop down from ``strange feathery trees,'' filling the air with hums and whistles. Chinese- born Ming-Yi brings the traditional culture of his homeland to life with delicate watercolors. His illustrations ripple and waver like reflections in a puddle. Sea and sky change places as endless jade willow trees fade into the skyline and indigo marshes sprout up along the banks of a river. A school of silvery fish, formed out of rapid brushstrokes, darts across a page. A haunting work. Ages 4-7. Children's BOMC alternate selection. (May)