From School Library Journal
YA Promoted as a companion to the PBS series of the same name, this beautifully written and well-organized book may be enjoyed in its entirety. The author explores 11 areas of Chinese life: remembering (emperors), believing, marrying, meditating, eating, living, working, correcting, understanding (the body and the universe), creating (fine arts) and trading. Lovely and recent color photographs embellish each chapter, whether they show a family eating a simple meal or the traditional customs of a remote region. Pencil and charcoal drawings from past centuries show a variety of scenes also. The chapters are well-defined in scope and manageable in length. Clearly and in a straightforward style, Clayre blends the realities of modern China with a great deal of information about its past. The author acknowledges his debt to the Chinese authorities for granting freedom of movement throughout China and for the assistance of the Chinese news services. He has been careful not to offend his hosts; consequently, the tone of the book reflects a definite party line, and the brutal subjugation of the people to the current political ruling body is not emphasized. Fascinating reading for YAs in need of up-to-date information or for those who simply want to read about a poorly understood section of the world. Susan Meck, PGCMLS, Md.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.