Mi Fei is a humble painter of scrolls. Between each day's sunrise and sunset, he paints scenes of the gods and their festivals' portraits of heroes and their deeds. Although the scrolls bring him fame, Mi Fei is content to live in his village, surrounded by people he loves.Read more...
Mi Fei is a humble painter of scrolls. Between each day's sunrise and sunset, he paints scenes of the gods and their festivals' portraits of heroes and their deeds. Although the scrolls bring him fame, Mi Fei is content to live in his village, surrounded by people he loves.
But one day a messenger enters the village with terrible news: the dragon Sui Jen has awakened from its hundred years' sleep and is destroying everything in its path. Someone must find a way to return Sui Jen to its slumber. To the villagers, only one among them is wise enough to confront the scaly beast -- Mi Fei.
The power of the artist's vision and the ever-sustaining nature of love are brought together in Marguerite W. Davol's beautiful story, strikingly interpreted by Robert Sabuda in a series of gatefold illustrations that convey the storytelling majesty of the Chinese narrative scrollmaker's art.
This item is Non-Returnable.
- ISBN-13: 9780689319921
- ISBN-10: 0689319924
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: November 1997
- Page Count: 60
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
- Dimensions: 9.36 x 9.45 x 0.47 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
Well, here we are in 1998, the year of the Tiger, and seeing several new children's books about China and Chinese culture. When I picked up "The Paper Dragon," I remembered being in Port Angeles, Washington, late one summer evening and seeing an artist painting a long mural on a display board beside the water. People gathered to look and admire and ask questions. Robert Sabuda, master paper engineer and artist (author of the 1994 pop-up "A Christmas Alphabet" and last year's "Cookie Count"), has created the mural effect in his stunning gatefold illustrations on each spread of Marguerite Davol's well-told story about a humble Chinese artist.
Mi Fei, a humble artist, loved to paint scenes of gods and their festivals, heroes and their deeds. He was happy, always hospitable, but alarming word came one day that the great dragon had awakened from its hundred years' sleep and was destroying the villages and countryside. Someone must convince it to sleep again. In spite of Mi Fei's protests he is selected and, much afraid, sets off for Lung Mountain where he confronts the dragon Sui Jen.
In a very clever exchange, Sui Jen sets three tasks for Mi Fei if he wants to live: to bring fire wrapped in paper, wind captured by paper, and the strongest things in the world carried in paper. How the simple Chinese artist answers these riddles is ingenuous and soul-satisfying. Their [should it be "his"?--KHW] wisdom reduces the fire-breathing monster to a small paper dragon which Mi Fei takes back to his village.
Sabuda's gatefold illustrations open out to reveal additional content. Cut from painted tissue paper that Sabuda created, they are very dramatic - Sui Jen's large red eyes, Mi Fei's long journey to find the dragon, a crowd of people surrounding Mi Fei. The strong mixed colors and heavy outlines are exciting in themselves. Sabuda has done it again.
This book literally feels good, both its story and its art. The enameled cover illustrations invite children to feel their slickness, and the Chinese characters suggest traits all of us need for the new year.
Reviewed by LouAnn Jones.