Here's another themed collection of old-school Scholastic read-along stories,
grouped together to give some love to "Asian heritage," which here
refers to China and Japan. Alas, no love for the Koreas.
"Tikki Tikki Tembo"
By Arlene Mosel
When I worked in a
preschool years ago, this was one of my favorite books to read during storytime.
It's intoxicating fun to say "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari
ruchi-pip peri pembo" over and over. And like any good storybook for babies
from way back when, the central conflict features children in mortal danger of
"The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks"
By Katherine Paterson
No content to cede adult thematic to material to Tikki, this story tells
of a cruel Chinese lord who captures a beautiful drake. A female servant,
overcome with compassion, releases the drake, and the lord's one-eyed warrior
sidekick is wrongfully blamed. The two are brought together in their shared love
for the duck, though when the lord discovers their relationship he orders them
drowned! Luckily, they're saved by the duck and the duck's girlfriend who
transform into Imperial messengers. Wow.
By Allen Say
A far more sedate
tale. The writer details the trips of his grandfather from Japan to the USA and
back again. Pretty meek stuff compared to the bad-assness that precedes it.
By Gerald McDermott
This is more
like it. A stonecutter craves more and more power from the mountain spirit,
demanding to be the sun and a thundercloud so he can wreak havoc on civilians.
In the end, he asks to be a mountain and I'm pretty sure he's damned for an
eternity of weeping and gnashing his teeth in the bowels of the rock.
"Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China"
Just as terrifying as it sounds. Why are those kids sleeping in the
same bed as that demonic wolf with the glowing white eyes?!
"Sam and the Lucky Money"
By Karen Chin
end all this soul-rending horror with a nice story about a kid who decides to
spend his money not on toys or candy, but buying a pair of shoes for a homeless
man. I'm sure the unabridged version had him murdering the guy in the back alley
Full frame, 2.0 stereo, and a read-along option.
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