"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Rooster's Antlers: a Story of the Chinese Zodiac

The Rooster's Antler's: a Story of the Chinese Zodiac retold by Eric Kimmel, Illus. by YongSheng Xuan, 1999.

This story also occurs during the creation of the Chinese Zodiac, but it has a completely different plot than the tales of Cat and Rat (See: Why There is No Cat in the Chinese Zodiac ). Instead of having the creatures compete in a race, the Jade Emperor will choose the animals and their order for his own reasons. Rooster is sure that he will be chosen first, because of his beauty. He is colorful, feathery, and he has a fabulous pair of coral antlers. Dragon is also wonderful to see, but he doubts himself because he is bald headed. His conniving friend Centipede is sure that he can get Rooster's antlers for Dragon, but he has a price. Centipede is worm like and helpless and needs fierce jaws and many legs to run with. Rooster may be vain, but he is a generous creature. What will happen when he lends his crowning glories?

YongSheng Xuan has illustrated this tale of Dragon, Centipede and Rooster in vibrant colors against a sky blue background. The pleasing pictures look like (are?) bold but detailed papercuts.

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