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by Valerie Reddix

illustrated by Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng


School Library Journal:

PreS-Gr 3– Every autumn in Taiwan, Grandfather made a kite that he and Tad-Tin would fly to celebrate Kite’s Day. At festivities’ end, he would always cut the string and release itinto the starry skies, to carry away all misfortune. But this year the elderly man lies ill, the kite unfinished. There is, however, an exquisite dragon kite, with life seeming to glow from within, that Grandfather made when Tin was born. Tin decides he must fly and release it, knowing that to do so will result in its destruction. Instead, with a soft, rumbling laugh, it soars away over the mountains. Tin then rushes home to find his grandfather sitting up and ready for him with an embrace–and a soft, rumbling laugh. By changing perspective and softening colors, the Tsengs have created a dragon of reds, greens, purples, and golds that bursts with life by tale’s end. The warm browns and rose hues of the interior scenes contrast with the green fields and purple-blue night skies of outside settings. While attractive, these pictures are not as appealing as those the Tsengs have done for Chinese folk tales. The faces, in particular, are often awkward. Although marred by its overly sentimental tone and its ending that stretches credibility, this story could be used with Wallace’s Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance , (McElderry, 1984), also about a Chinese boy, his grandfather, a dragon, and a festival–although with a markedly different theme. –Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Ages 0-8, Family, Folklore, Kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten