“The Magic Pillow”
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.