Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International’s Best Book Award - Language Arts, Grades K-6 Novels
Selected as one of four recipients of the 2004 Aesop Accolade
Selected by the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association as one of the PSLA YA Top Forty Fiction Titles 2003
At about the time the Grimm Brothers were gathering their famous collection of folk stories and fairy tales in Europe, in China a similar collection of almost five hundred stories had just been compiled by the scholar Pu Sing-ling. Drawing on oral and written sources, he called his collection of the strange and wondrous Strange Tales from a Studio of Leisure.
The fruits of his life’s work become immensely popular with storytellers who performed the stories in teahouses, where rapt audiences would sit for half a day drinking tea and listening to tales of ghosts, fox fairies, and other wonders.
Almost unknown in the West, the stories are given new life in this important work by the masterful Michael Bedard.
Michael Bedard was born and raised in Toronto. His novels include Stained Glass, A Darker Magic, Painted Devil, and Redwork, which received the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children. He has also written several acclaimed picture books, including The Clay Ladies, illustrated by Les Tait, which received the Toronto IODE Book Award.
“…this new collection deserves a welcome…”
–The Horn Book
“…accessible to reluctant readers… [I]nteresting stories with an Asian flavor.”
–School Library Journal
“…balanced and elegant…”
–The Globe and Mail
“…these short stories offer wonderful entertainment while also inviting contemplation…. As well as being an excellent addition to a study of folktales, this book will be an asset to students learning about Chinese culture…. Bedard’s skillful retellings result in concise but engaging folktales. A perfect balance exists between the essential details and the minimalist structure.”
–Quill & Quire
“Bedard retains the Chinese ideals of brevity and balance to give the book authentic charm…”