Review Blog

Jun 03 2015

Various titles by Bingbo

cover image

Starfish Bay Children's Books, 2015.
The cowardly lion. Ill. by Jianming Zhou. ISBN 9780994100238
The moving house. Ill. by Huanying. ISBN 9780994100252
The pear violin. Ill. by Gumi. ISBN 9780994100245
(Age: 7-9) Chinese Fables. Kindness. Courage. Peace. Harmony. Friendship. Animals. One of Starfish Bay Publishing's core goals is to raise children's cultural awareness. They have chosen to present a very popular Chinese author's stories to a new audience. Bingbo is a children's literary specialist with more than 370 books written. In these picture books, he gives his animal characters human characteristics and uses descriptive language to illustrate his fables. The moral is inferred; friendship, overcoming problems, finding peace and harmony are core values.
The cowardly lion. Telulu the cowardly lion looks fierce and powerful, however, when confronted by another ferocious animal he shrinks. When faced with a tiger, he becomes as small as a leopard then seeing a leopard he decreases to a wildcat, then to a mouse. Both mouse and lion are fearful of each other, their solution to the problem makes them a united force. With the forest animals cheering lion on, he faces his fears and returns to normal size with the mouse still his closest friend.
The moving house. Squirrel's decision to build a new house on a big rock leads to a new adventure. Each night he falls into a deep sleep and awakes in a new place, near the sea, then near the beautiful mountains. Squirrel is happy with the change of scenery until he wakes up with his house sinking in a lake. Tortoise comes to rescue him and they decide to be upstairs and downstairs friends.
The pear violin. Bingbo's story celebrates the power of music to bring together a community of forest animals. Squirrel finds a large pear; after eating half, he makes a pear violin using his whiskers as the strings and small twigs as the bow. His music carries into the far reaches of the forest, causing the fox to stop chasing the chicken and lion to stop pursuing rabbit. All the forest creatures are amazed and gather to hear him play. When a seed falls to the ground and a magic pear tree springs to life full of special fruit, the animals make all sorts of stringed instruments and join together for a moonlight concert.
Chinese illustrators bring Bingbo's anthropomorphic stories to life, through the use of paint, ink and pencil.
Rhyllis Bignell

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