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The Seven Gods of Luck: A Japanese Tale Paperback – Large Print, November 1, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3. A lively adaptation of a Japanese folktale. When their mother returns home on New Year's Eve without money to buy a traditional feast, Sachiko and Kenji take a few small possessions into town, hoping to sell them in the market. Walking through the falling snow, the siblings pass the Seven Gods of Luck. Brushing snow off these statues brings them no luck in the market, so they exchange their items for the inventory of an old hat-seller. On the way home, they clean the statues once more and place hats on their heads "to keep them warm and dry." This act of kindness reaps a generous reward. Yoshiko Uchida's The Sea of Gold and Other Tales from Japan (Macmillan, 1965; o.p.) contains a more traditional version of the story, in which an elderly man is the protagonist. The well-paced, carefully plotted text has a sprightly partner in its stylized, gently colored illustrations. Figures are set against ample backgrounds that celebrate the fabric designs and folk art of Japan. Economical in their expressions?the tilt of a head, the lift of an eyebrow conveys a great deal?the pictures of the children will appeal to readers.?Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
The kindness and generosity of two children result in a great reward for them at New Year's in an unusual fable set in Japan. Sachiko and her brother, Kenji, are saddened when their mother comes home empty-handed on New Year's Eve, so they decide to try to sell some hairpins and chopsticks they have made, in order to buy rice for their meal. On their way, they pass the Seven Gods of Luck--life-sized statues exemplifying virtues like wisdom, long life, and beauty--and dust the snow off them. They can't sell their things, but do trade wares with an old man, so that they can all go home for the night. They procure six straw hats that they attach to the statues--upon the seventh Sachiko bestows her scarf--to keep the gods free from snow. Their gesture prods the gods to give the family a fabulous New Year's meal in seven pots. Kudler's first book is predictable, but does reveal the stark simplicity of this Japanese household, and provides a window into traditions and daily life. Although two paintings show the children with the very wares that they have already traded away, Finch's watercolors are well done and innovative in composition, and manage to present fresh details of an unfamiliar culture in every picture. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There is a few valuable lessons that are presented on unselfishness, service and perseverance.
The illustrations were nicely done by Linda Finch. The are slightly dull and simple but depicts the story well. They definitely give the audience a flair of the Orient. The story was written simply, presenting the main points clearly. After the story is told, the author ads some follow-up information which can be used for further enlightenment and discussion.
This is short and perfect for children's story time. It can be purchased in a large paperback, enabling a group to easily see the pictures.
It is book worthy of recommendation. My review of this book gives it a Four Stars rating.
This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review, of which I have given.