Late one night, a man named Sung travels a dark, deserted road. Sung, who is not afraid of anything, encounters a ghost along the way who is determined to teach him a lesson. When Sung turns the tables on this trickster, a funny, lively adventure unfolds that will have young readers cheering for the hero. Full-color illustrations.
"Ages 5-8. Yep makes his first foray into picture books and comes up with a winner, but it's the artwork that really sets this apart. Set in medieval China, the story has as its hero the brave Sung, who isn't scared of otherworldly creatures because he considers everyone a relation. So when he meets a ghost, Sung says he's a ghost, too--his cousin in fact--and the ghost believes him. Together they set off for town, with the ghost bragging about how he's going to kill an unbeliever named Sung. Sung sharpens his wits, tricking the ghost every step of the way--first getting the ghost to show him his many disguises, then persuading his companion to tell him the secret of what frightens a ghost most. When Sung learns it is human spit, the ghost's fate is sealed. Yep's simple yet spirited telling will have appeal across a wide age range, with even middle-graders enjoying the trickster. Seltzer's bold illustrations have both texture (almost as if the paintings were done on burlap) and depth, which gives the art a three-dimensional quality. Viewed against an inky sky, the dramatically costumed ghost, with the visage of a Chinese gargoyle, and the dynamic red-suited Sung are the constant, intriguing focus. An illustrated endnote describes the story's origins. ~--Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"As he did in The Shell Woman & the King (reviewed July 12), Newbery Honor author Yep again reinvigorates a centuries-old Chinese tale. The hero, Sung, aptly dressed in red, is so fearless he picnics in graveyards and naps in haunted houses. ``We are . . . all cousins,'' he explains, ``so why should I be afraid?'' One night he meets a warrior in antique armor--a chillingly blue-faced ghost. He persuades it that he, too, is a ghost, though a new one, and declares that they are cousins. Sung takes the opportunity to learn ghost secrets; then, when the ghost assumes the form of a splendid ram (with angry ghost eyes), he uses his knowledge to sell it to an anonymously mud-brown farmer. ``New at being a ghost, he was even newer at being rich. But he liked it.'' Seltzer's ( The House I Live In ) bold use of color heightens not only the struggle between the vital Sung and the humorless, destructive ghost, but also the contrast between the hero and more mundane humans. A riveting yet funny tale. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| Mahwah, N.J. :Bridgewater Press,1993
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm