The Dragon Prince

The Dragon Prince

A Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale

Book - 1999
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When a poor farmer falls into the clutches of a dragon, only Seven, his youngest daughter, will save him--by marrying the beast.
Publishers Weekly praised "Yep's elegant, carefully crafted storytelling" and Mak's "skillfully and radiantly rendered illustrations" in this captivating and luminous Chinese variation of the beauty and the beast tale.

A 1998 Notable Children's Trade Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
A 1997 Pick of the Lists (ABA)
Publisher: [New York]: HarperCollins, c1999.
ISBN: 9780064435185
Characteristics: [32] p. :,col. ill. ;,28 cm.


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Feb 04, 2018

The "Beauty and the Beast" story is an old one. It could be argued that Ovid's Cupid and Pysche is an early version of the story. A brave, intelligent, industrious heroine, a prince hiding his magical origins behind ugliness, and some redemption between not only the heroine and prince but also the outside world and the couple- that is here.

What makes this story different from the others is the inclusion of the old woman at the end. Many have remarked that many European and Asian heroines lack a mother figure, and that loss is perhaps part of the journey she needs to work through. Here, Seven is the industrious youngest daughter of a poor farmer on barren land. She is the only one who takes on nurturing, homebound roles of cooking and sewing. After she is taken by the prince in disguise and they are in the middle of happily ever after, she is betrayed not only by her sisters but also her father. But part of her redemption and even rescue comes from an old woman who nurses her back to health... much like a mother (or perhaps fairy godmother) would. And at the end, when Seven is reunited with her prince, the old woman comes with her! The real happy ending then may not be just that she will have the love of a prince but the care of a mother.

FindingJane Jul 18, 2014

Beauty and the Beast tales are a common theme in many cultures. This one has its own variations, in that the Beauty is no mere dutiful daughter but a skilled artisan whose work is as lovely as she is. The Beast is a handsome prince in disguise—no surprise there. But he himself is put to the test when his wife becomes less than a beauty. This poses a question. Is the prince wrong for initially ignoring his wife’s change in looks? Does it show devotion that he accepts her even when she’s ugly or does it display a lack of fidelity to accept one woman over another? This factor raises this version above the usual tale since it gives the handsome prince more to do than merely suffer his own fate. Charming, beautifully illustrated in vivid color and realistic portraits, “The Dragon Prince” is a delight for the mind and eye.

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