cover image A Song of Stars: An Asian Legend

A Song of Stars: An Asian Legend

Tom Birdseye. Holiday House, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0790-3

In China and Japan, celebrations are held in honor of love and in memory of the two star-crossed lovers who appear in this gently told adaptation of the Asian legend. Princess Chauchau, a weaver, falls in love with the herdsman Newlang, but when the lovers neglect their duties, they are condemned by the Emperor of the Heavens to live on either side of the Milky Way and meet only once a year--on the seventh day of the seventh month. When rain prevents them from crossing the river of stars, the Emperor, approving of the love that was so ``strong and sure, full of trust and warmth,'' sends a flock of magpies to make a ``gently rustling bridge of birds'' so they can be reunited for one day. Reminiscent of Brian Wildsmith's work, Chen's strong, brightly colored geometric designs and Birdseye's quiet tone provide the perfect accompaniment for the lovers who sing ``the same soft song of love for all to hear.'' Ages 4-8. (Apr.)