The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks

by Katherine Paterson (Author) Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
Wrtitten by Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson with painting by Caldecott winning illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon

A beautiful mandarin duck is captured and caged by a greedy lord who wants to show off the bird's magnificent plumage. But the wild creature pines for his mate. When Yasuko, the kitchen maid, releases the bird against her lord's command, she and the one-eyed servant, Shozo, are sentenced to death. The grateful bird intends to return their kindness, but can he outsmart the cruel lord?


Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year.

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Publishers Weekly

In another picture book retelling of a Japanese folktale, Paterson ( The Tongue-Cut Sparrow ) recounts the story of Shozo, a one-eyed Samurai unjustly forced to be a servant, and Yasuko, a kitchen maid. They befriend a mandarin duck who pines for his mate while kept in captivity by a fearsome lord. When Yasuko releases the duck, both servants are sentenced to death, but they are subsequently saved by two mysterious imperial messengers who care for them throughout the night and disappear, leaving in their place the two mandarin ducks. Yasuko and Shozo live happily from that time on because ``as they had learned years before, trouble can always be borne when it is shared.'' Paterson's story is rich with magic, compassion and love. The Dillons' elegantly detailed watercolor and pastel drawings, in the style of 18th-century Japanese woodcuts, are exquisite. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 1990 Publisher’s Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Kirkus

In mellow, grayed hues and crisp black, each double spread appears in two borderless panels that allow the eye to make them one without catching in the gutter; the blocks of text are expertly incorporated in the handsome design. An outstanding contribution.

Hornbook

The book contains some of the Dillons' most splendid work.


Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780140557398
Lexile Measure
930
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Puffin Books
Publication date
November 01, 1995
Series
Picture Puffin Books
BISAC categories
JUV012020 - Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore | Country & Ethnic - General
Library of Congress categories
-
Elementary School Library Collection, 06/01/00
Wilson's Children, 10/01/10

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