________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 10. . . .January 9, 2009

cover

The Dream Jar.

Mary Withers, adapter. Illustrated by Eileen Fong.
Edmonton, AB: Tutkam Books (www.tutkam.com), 2007.
36 pp., hardcover, $21.95.
ISBN 978-0-9697552-4-1.

Subject Headings:
Tales-Japan.
Dreams-Folklore.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jennifer Draper.

** /4

   

excerpt:

Shiki asked about the garden, the mountain and the pine tree. Then he knew he had found the right place. "May I sleep in your garden tonight?" he asked politely. Kiibe-san agreed, but by now he was growing very suspicious. "Who are you and why all these questions about my garden?" And so Shiki foolishly told Kibbe-san about the dream he bought from Kado.

 

The dream the Shiki bought was that of a treasure in a large jar, the "Dream Jar." Kado had dreamed of a rich man with a treasure buried under a tree in his garden. Much to the dismay of Shiki's wife, he sets out to find the treasure and keep it for himself.

internal art     The text is accompanied by illustrations by Eileen Fong done in the Chinese brush painting style. They are colorful works of art on their own without the story. According to her website, Fong has lived in Canada since 1968 and strives to blend Canadian scenes and nature into this ancient art form. She was the artist in residence at the Vancouver School Board (Vancouver, BC) from 2001 2004.

      Although there are words in the story that may be unfamiliar to some, the terms are explained at the bottom of the page on which they appear. The Dream Jar is a lovely story about a man who is too trusting and innocent and yet manages somehow to acquire the treasure. The characters are one-dimensional, but the general feel of the story is that of a traditional folktale. The text on each page is short enough to keep a small child interested through the story.

      Depending on the potential readers, The Dream Jar could be a satisfactory addition to a collection of Chinese folk tales.

Recommended.

Jennifer Draper is a children's literature aficionado living in Oshawa, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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