In this Chinese version of "Puss in Boots," a young man is called King Pom because he owns a grand pomegranate tree. When a fox is caught stealing its fruit, he strikes a bargain. The fox arranges for King Pom to be rescued from the river and presented to the Em-peror as a rich man, unfortunately attacked by robbers. The Emperor likes the young man and thinks he'd be a good catch for his daughter, but the suspicious Prime Minister accompanies King Pom back home to see his palace. The fox runs ahead, persuading herdsmen with camels and grooms with magnificent horses to say they belong to King Pom. The fox then tricks a fierce ogre who lives in a splendid palace into changing shapes-first into a tiger and then into a green bug, which the fox squashes. The Prime Minister believes the palace is King Pom's, so all ends well for the young man, the princess, and the fox. Souhami's bright, uncluttered collages are made of Ingres papers adorned with watercolor, ink, and pencil and lightly positioned on creamy backgrounds. The collage of the ogre as a fierce tiger is stunning and fairly leaps off the page. The spareness of the text matches the simplicity of the artwork, and, like all good fairy tales, it begs to be read aloud. Compare this variant to Charles Perrault's Puss in Boots with Fred Marcellino's elegant artwork (Farrar, 1990). This is a solid choice for fairy-tale collections and a boon to storytimes.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN -- School Library Journal
About the Author
Jessica Souhami studied at the Central School of Art and Design. In 1980 she formed Mme Souhami and Co, a travelling puppet company using colourful shadow puppets with a musical accompaniment and a storyteller. Her most recent titles for Frances Lincoln include In the Dark Dark Wood, Mrs McCool and the Giant Cuchulainn, The Famous Adventure of a Bird Brained Hen, The Little, Little House and Sausages.