“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

“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.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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25 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Joanna says:

    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!

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I love folktales, too. I’ll look for this at the library!

  4. Yes…folktales are great. I’m adding it to my list. Thanks, Diane.

  5. Yay – another folktale! Heading over to the library now!

  6. A beautiful Chinese folk tale with an important message. You keep bringing us great stories from other countires. Love it!

  7. Richa Jha says:

    I’d love to read this book, more for the illustrations, actually. I just loooked her link up, aren’t her creations gorgeous!

  8. Wow…a story that’s over a millennium old….and the illustrations sound amazing. Thanks for sharing, Diane

  9. Wow! Great choice! I love folktales!

  10. Joanna says:

    I love this author/illustrator but haven’t read this one. Retellings of non European folktales are among my favorite picture books.

  11. Carrie Finison says:

    This looks like a wonderful book, Diane. I love retold folktales.

  12. Laura Renauld says:

    Demi’s work is terrific. I’m unfamiliar with this one. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Darlene says:

    Any book that introduces children to another culture is a great find. Thanks for introducing this gem to us!

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