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- Publié sur Amazon.com
In the first book, "How the Rooster Got Its Crown," Amy Lowry, the illustrator, shares an ancient Chinese/Tibetan tale with the west. Now she shares a western tale, of ancient Greece, with the East!
Ms. Lowry tells the tradition story of "The Ant and the Grasshopper" exactly how Aesop originally told it, with a Chinese twist. The story is set in China, at the emperor's Summer Palace.
The story, and moral, is the same. A colony of ants work all day, every day, rebuilding their anthill and gathering food for the winter. The ants warn the grasshopper to prepare for winter, but the grasshopper thinks they are silly, and plays and entertains all at the royal palace all summer long. When autumn sets in, the ants close up their anthill, the royal family leaves the palace, and the grasshopper sits and waits for the winter, regretfully and fearfully wishing he had heeded the ants advice.
Again, Amy not only tells the story from an Oriental point of view, she illustrates it as well, with her style of drawing and painting, along with her technique she learned from other Chinese artists while Ms. Lowry resided in Beijing for four years.
Again, like in "How the Rooster Got Its Crown" there is the illustration within the illustration. Here, Ms. Lowry draws the ground, the anthill, where, within the ground she shows shadows of worms and other creatures, showing the complexity of her drawings.
What really surprises you is the end of the book, the Author's Note. Here you get a history lesson, and this is for adults as well as children. The Summer Palace told in the story actually existed. Known as Yuanmingyuan, or "Garden of Perfect Brightness," it was built in 1747 during the Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the British and the French in 1860, during the Opium Wars. Later, another summer palace was built in 1888, called Yiheyuan, the "Garden for Cultivating Harmony, located a mile west of the original palace. Ms. Lowry lived in an area between both sites, and she visited them frequently. I assume that her drawings in this book have been inspired by these two sites.
Of course, Amy explained this in greater detail than what I have written here.
Again, buy this book for your children, read it to them, and show them the artwork. If you can, explain to them a little about Chinese culture.
It will help to broaden a child's horizons.