“The Magic Pillow”
Written and Illustrated by: Demi
Published by: Margaret K McElderry Books, Imprint of Simon & Schuster New York.
Ages: 7 – 10 years
Theme: True Values, dreams. Folktale, multicultural, magic
Opening Lines: Once upon a time in china there was a boy named Ping. His family owned a poor little patch of land, but they were all very happy together.
Synopsis: On a cold winter’s day in China a small boy called Ping was out collecting firewood for his poor family, when he realised he couldn’t get home. An innkeeper took him in and a magician staying there offered him a magical pillow, saying, if he slept on it, all his dreams would come true. Dreaming of riches, wealth and fame Ping sees his life before him. Is it really what he wants? Will that make him truly happy?
Why I like this: Demi brings this beautiful Chinese folktale to life with such exquisite detail. On each page the text and illustrations are encircled in a gold ring. The colours within the circles depict time of day or action, such as purple for the magician, speckled dark blue for evening and soft blue of snow scenes and of the sky. On the last page we learn this story is based on a Chinese short story by Shen Jiji of the Tang Dynasty (700 A.D.) We also learn of Lu Tung Pin a Patron Saint of Literature. Demi is the creator of numerous award winning picture books including The Hungry Goat and Gandhi a New York Times Best Illustrated book. She lives in Washington.
In the effort to fulfill hopes and dreams, one may find their key to happiness unexpectedly.
Resources/Findings: Here is a little more about Demi … http://www.wisdomtalespress.com/authors_artists-childrens/Demi.shtml
Here children could join in a slumber party… http://www.medfieldrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=28948
Learning about China for kids…. http://www.china.mrdonn.org/
For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.
I love this author/illustrator and this is a new one for me. Great choice. I love retelling’s of old folktales, especially from non-European cultures!
I love folktales to. This author/illustrator has amazing talent. Glad you liked this Joanna.
This looks great, Diane! I LOVE folktales! I haven’t seen this one before, so I’ll have to check it out, and very glad to be adding it to our list! Thanks! 🙂
Thankyou Susanna, so pleased you like this choice. This just happened to pop out at me at the library.
I love folktales, too. I’ll look for this at the library!
Cool, glad you like it Stacy, enjoy!
Yes…folktales are great. I’m adding it to my list. Thanks, Diane.
So pleased you like this one to, Penny.
Yay – another folktale! Heading over to the library now!
Hi Julie, glad you like the choice. Hope you find it in your local library. Let me know what you think.
A beautiful Chinese folk tale with an important message. You keep bringing us great stories from other countires. Love it!
Thankyou Pat. So pleased you like my choice. Has a very important message, family and love over wealth and fame.
I’d love to read this book, more for the illustrations, actually. I just loooked her link up, aren’t her creations gorgeous!
Thankyou Richa, welcome to my blog. Yes her illustrations are beautiful. So pleased you like my choice of book to review. Come back anytime.
Wow…a story that’s over a millennium old….and the illustrations sound amazing. Thanks for sharing, Diane
Thankyou Laura, glad you liked it. LOL… I didn’t sort of take it in how very old it was…. but yes you are right….
Wow! Great choice! I love folktales!
LOL… Thankyou Erik, glad you liked it.
I love this author/illustrator but haven’t read this one. Retellings of non European folktales are among my favorite picture books.
This looks like a wonderful book, Diane. I love retold folktales.
Thankyou Carrie, glad you think so. Maybe you will find it in your library.
Demi’s work is terrific. I’m unfamiliar with this one. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Laura, nice to see you, yes her work is lovely. I just stumbled across this one. Glad you like it.
Any book that introduces children to another culture is a great find. Thanks for introducing this gem to us!
Your very welcome Darlene. Glad you like it.