cover image The Magic Tapestry: A Chinese Folktale

The Magic Tapestry: A Chinese Folktale

Demi. Henry Holt & Company, $17.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2810-2

This fast-paced retelling of an ancient Chinese fairy tale revolves around the search for a stolen tapestry. A devoted son sets out to retrieve the work, ``the most heavenly tapestry ever made,'' painstakingly woven by his mother over three years. But it is not with the fairies of Sun Mountain, and only an impossible journey through fire and ice will bring it home. Two older brothers have refused even to contemplate the mission but, for the love of his mother, the youngest is determined to succeed. Elaborate illustrations evoke traditional Chinese art, each painting itself like a fine tapestry abundantly worked in gold. The art is finely drawn, the compositions so well balanced as to exude a peaceful, Zen-like quality and yet sufficiently dramatic as to convey the energy of the story. Background colors are radiant--deep turquoise, indigo, scarlet--and the mother's tapestry indeed seems ``heavenly.'' Just as the illustrations mix clean lines with opulent gilding, so too the text combines timeless wisdom with romance, magic and a dash of adventure. Ages 6-10. (May)