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Magic Lotus Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese, The

by: Haiwang Yuan

Westport CT: Unlimited Libraries 2006, Hardbound
ISBN: 1-59158-294-6

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2009 Issue: 16(4) page(s): 26

This is a collection of more than fifty stories about the largest ethnic population in China, the Han people. The tales enchant, enhance cultural understandings, and for those unfamiliar, tell about country and food, also games, crafts, customs, religion, music, the performing arts, fine arts, and architecture, and of course, about China’s storytelling. In the World Folklore series, this volume provides familiarization of country and people. There is cultural content and context that makes for better understandings of the majority population, all ninety-six percent of them.

Included are well-known stories such as the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl, and lesser known ones including Meng Jiang Wails at the Great Wall. There are tales highlighting Chinese literature that will sound familiar to many like the ones about the Monkey King. There are others from the performing arts. One the titled: A Forsaken Wife and Her Unfaithful Husband; so do read it and still others about their gods and goddesses and do see pictures of them, foods, fans, and fairly typical countryside.

Read them to the children, and read them aloud to adults. They delight and educate all ages, they provide glimpses of traditions and trains of thought; and open doors between the Chinese and the West in this huge nation.

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