||Children's and Young Adult Programs/Storytelling, Resources and Collections
Focusing specifically on the stories of the Han Chinese (the largest ethnic group in China, numbering over a billion people), this collection presents more than 50 tales, both well known and obscure—from Monkeys Fishing the Moon and The Butterfly Lovers to Painted Skin and Dragon Princess. These are stories that will enchant listeners of all ages, while providing a glimpse into Chinese traditions and ways of thought. To further enhance cultural understanding, the tales are supplemented with historical and cultural background, notes on storytelling, crafts and games, recipes, proverbs, color photos, a map, a glossary, and more.
In the past decades, the doors between China and the West have been flung open. Explosive economic growth and massive increases in travel and immigration have engendered curiosity and interest in this burgeoning nation. Yet modernization has a dark side too, threatening traditional Chinese culture, including stories and storytelling. This new gathering of stories from a variety of sources, captures the fading storytelling traditions of a vast and diverse country. Focusing specifically on the stories of the Han Chinese (the largest ethnic group in China, numbering over a billion people), the collection presents more than 50 tales, both well known and obscure—from Monkeys Fishing the Moon and The Butterfly Lovers to Dragon Princess and Painted Skin. These are stories that will enchant listeners of all ages, while providing a glimpse into Chinese traditions and ways of thought. Tales are organized into seven sections: Animal Tales; Tales of Magic, Love and Romance; Myths, Legends and Immortals; Moral Stories; How Things Came to Be; and Proverbial Tales. To further enhance cultural understanding, the stories are supplemented with historical and cultural background, notes on storytelling and other folk traditions, recipes, proverbs, color photos, a map, a glossary, and more. All grade levels.
- Table of Contents
Map of China
General Introduction to China
Food, Games, and Crafts
Tales of Love and Romance
Myths, Legends, and Immortals
Tales of How Things Came to Be
"Yuan has done an admirable job of presenting these tales. In the book's first two parts (60 pages), he offers cultural context and a brief introduction to the language, population, history, literature, foods, games, and crafts associated with the popular culture of the Han Chinese, who make up more than 90 percent of the population of China. The writings themselves--54 folktales, myths, legends, and popular tales--take up the third part, and all are well known among the Han Chinese. Yuan distinguishes between the culture and tales of the Han Chinese and the cultures and tales of minority ethnic Chinese. He will treat the latter in a second volume, tentatively titled Princess Peacock and Tales of Other Chinese Peoples (forthcoming, 2007). Two appendixes, Chinese Proverbs and Motifs and Tale Sources, plus the glossary and references make this book useful to both scholars and the uninitiated. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."
"The author balances traditionality and modern transformations of customs, performing arts, music, games, and storytelling to convey a dynamic picture of their historical development. The brevity of the first two parts, along with powerful illustrations, effectively draws an informative sketch of China in a limited number of pages."
"The book, written with verve and simplicity, is in a style that makes it interesting for readers of all ages. Clearly it is written by a person who really enjoys and understands his topic. It is a wonderful introduction to Chinese culture and one of the best books that I have read on Chinese folk tales."