Sarah's Stars

Song Nan Zhang & Hao Yu Zhang. A Time of Golden Dragons
Tundra Books  $14.99  ISBN 0-88776-791-5  24 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 15

As Buddhist influence grew in China about a thousand years ago, the image of dragons as rulers of the water became entwined with Chinese myths.

Among the myths were stories of dragon kings who lived in the water and ruled the four seas. Theirs was an entirely mythical underwater world, just as orderly as the one they had on earth. In this water world, fish turned into laborers and merchants; shrimps and crabs became guards and warriors.

A Time of Golden Dragons relates a brief and engaging history of dragons in China. It takes the reader through the history of China, showing how the drawings and concepts of dragons have evolved since 3600 B.C.E. The story also provides interesting facts about dragon mythology and talks about the importance of dragons in Chinese festivals.

A Time of Golden Dragons is not your traditional picture book. Itís actually more like a research book for kids in elementary school. However, I think it would be an interesting read for many children. The font isnít as big as it could be, but itís a fair size and easy to read. The pictures are awesome, large and colorful depicting many different views of Chinese dragons. The writing style is interesting, although some children may find the content a bit dry.

Iíd give A Time of Golden Dragons four and a half stars.


An interesting fact:

One of the greatest works of Chinese literature is the Monkey King. It is based on the true story of a Chinese monk who walked all the way to India in the 7th century. His travels were turned into an allegory that mingled ancient Chinese legends with the stories he heard in India. In one of them, the Monkey King visited the underwater kingdom of the Dragon King and grabbed its crown treasure. (Excerpt from A Time of Golden Dragons)

Check out the review for Tales of the Monkey King, a picture book about the adventures of the Monkey King in KIdsWWwrite #48 (March 2006).

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