Publication: March 2017
Publisher: Wisdom Tales
Page Count: 36, hardcover
When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden.
This book is a retelling of an old Chinese tale based upon a real rock called the Amah Rock in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. In the real legend, the story is not as happily ended. This telling is much sweeter and gives hope, but it also shares love and loyalty.
The tale also introduces a Goddess of the Heavens called Tin Hau, this is nice to illustrate that children around the world do not necessarily worship the same God. At the very least, it can bring the conversation about others and their beliefs that may not be the same as their own.
The illustrations were beautifully done by Pirkko Vainio in muted watercolors. Yellow, grays, and blues are main staples throughout the book which lends themselves to the overall feel of the book.
I recommend this book and give it 5 stars.
About the author:
Northern California children's author, freelance writer, and playwright. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong. Came to California in 1979 to attend Dominican College (now University) where she graduated with a B.A. in English Literature with a Writing Emphasis and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology. As a Social Worker, she worked primarily with emotionally disadvantaged children in group home and foster home settings, and with Child Protective Services. Currently, she works part-time at the Mendocino County Office of Education, but works on writing every chance can get.
She has written stories since she was 11 years old, and even though interested in writing in a wide-range of genres and topics from picture books to plays, from travel and food writing to profiles, her heart has always been in writing for children.
- Set up a "village" around a baby swimming pool that acts as the sea. Make "sampans" from larger sitting toys and have children "fish" in the sea. Use wooden poles with magnets on the end to catch fish made out of paper and paper clips. The "fish" could have Chinese words on them or words from the book. Younger kids the "fish" could have words they are learning or alphabet.
- (For older children)Talk about different stories the children have heard. Discuss what a legend is and maybe share and contrast other legends. Have them write their own retelling of a legend.
- Go on a walk with children and climb different "mountains" or set up a "mountain" on a slide. Discuss the mountain of Amah Rock and what it might look like. Discuss other mountains maybe the children have seen.
- Have the children paint rocks based on the different colors in the book. Have them write their names on one side and the people they love on the other side.
Happy reading! M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon
Thank you Wisdom Tales Publishing for providing me this book for Multicultural Book Day Celebration.
Wisdom Tales is the name of the children’s book imprint of the award-winning publishing house, World Wisdom, which was founded in 1980. Wisdom Tales publishes both children’s and teen titles and was created for the purpose of sharing the wisdom, beauty, and values of traditional cultures and peoples from around the world with young readers and their families. The content, illustrations, and production quality of these books is intended to assure them a lasting value for children, parents, teachers, and librarians.