Monday, July 6, 2009

The Khan's Daughter: A Mongolian Folktale

The Khan's Daughter: A Mongolian Folktale

Written by: Laurence Yep
Illustrated by: Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng

Elementary and Junior High Grades

"In order to fulfill a prophecy and win the hand of the Khan's daughter in marriage, Mongke, a shepherd, must succeed in three trials. His mother-in-law-to-be sets the first two. To prove his strength, he must steal the wealth of seven demons. To demonstrate his bravery, he must vanquish the enemy. The third trial, however, is imposed by the Khan's daughter herself, after which a humbled but determined Mongke does indeed become a wise and beloved husband. While this retelling of a Mongolian folktale adheres to the predictable and traditional quest motif, Yep succeeds in endowing his characters with multidimensional personalities. Mongke is brave, foolish, boastful, then finally contrite. Women are not simply trophies but actively determine their destiny. The well-paced story effortlessly balances humor and adventure, fantasy and reality, and is wonderfully enhanced by the artwork. As a sprightly read-aloud or an opportunity for independent readers to lose themselves in an unfamiliar and fascinating culture, this is a solid addition to folklore collections."

School Library Journal Review

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