Archive for November 20th, 2009

The Seeing Stick

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The Seeing Stick begins and ends as harmoniously as the namesake of its main character, Hwei Ming, which means “the lightless moon on the last day of the month [that] becomes luminous”. Author Jane Yolen thoughtfully interprets this Chinese legend about a blind empress and her father’s solemn search to give her the gift of sight. Citizens far and wide gather at the fortress gates in response to the emperor’s reward to cure his daughter’s blight; monks come with their prayer wheels, magician-priests with their spells and physicians with their potions. True to legendary lore, a sightless old man with a golden seeing stick harkens the call and sets off towards the fortress, where he mystifies the surly guards and ultimately, opens the empress’s “eyes on the tips of her fingers”. Yolen’s free-flowing narrative comes to life through the Asian-inspired watercolors of illustrator, Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini. Each illustrated page resembles Chinese scrolls of wispy, calligraphic nature paintings. The images are also covered in a textural and reflective material creating a sort of illustrative braille which cleverly compliments the legend of the seeing stick. The Seeing Stick feels timeless and engages all of the senses in a tale that truly understands that life is more than meets the eye.

Reading level:
Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 34 pages
Publisher: Running Press Kids
ISBN-10: 0762420480


Written by corvusblue

November 20, 2009 at 5:16 am