Saturday, March 1, 2014
Lord of the Cranes retold by Kerstin Chen
Lord of the Cranes retold by Kerstin Chen. Illus. by Jian Jiang Chen, 2000.
Tian is a wise old mountain dweller whose friends are the cranes. One day, he decides to disguise himself as a beggar and test the people below to see if they are remembering to be kind. Unfortunately, most people ignore him until he meets the owner of an inn who freely gives him food and drink every day. In order to repay him, Tian paints three magical cranes on the inn 's wall. They spring to life and dance for the innkeeper's customers. Because of this, the generous man also becomes a rich and successful one, who thereafter encourages others to share and be kind as he is.
Jian Jiang Chen's bright and bold paintings bring the tale to life. Sunset colored skies of orange, pink and purple contrast with the white winged cranes. Brush strokes highlight the birds' movements in flight. Old Tian appears dignified and serene.