cover image Two of Everything

Two of Everything

Lily Toy Hong. Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-8157-5

As she did in How the Ox Star Fell from Heaven , this talented author-illustrator here distills a Chinese folktale with style and humor. Her lucid narrative is coupled with beguiling, full-page airbrushed acrylic and gouache pictures that display a distinctive palette highlighted by sumptuous blues and greens. Digging in his garden, a poor farmer discovers an ancient brass pot. While carrying his find home, the man drops his purse, which he then tosses into the pot for safekeeping. At home, when his wife peers into the vessel she finds not one but two purses. The couple puts the magic pot to work, multiplying their remaining gold coins many times over. But their good fortune takes an unexpected turn when Mr. and Mrs. Haktak both manage to fall into the pot, and a clone of each of them appears. ``Now even our troubles are beginning to double,'' the farmer observes wryly. How they make peace with their new lives will have youngsters, if not doubled up with laughter, at least genuinely amused, and wanting to reread this yarn--at least twice. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)