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The Seeing Stick (2009)

by Jane Yolen(Favorite Author)
4.32 of 5 Votes: 1
0762420480 (ISBN13: 9780762420483)
Running Press Kids
review 1: The Seeing Stick is a story that revolves around the life of a Chinese Princess, Hwei Min and daughter of the Emperor of China. She has been blind since birth, and it none of her father's physicians or magicians can help her to see with her eyes, or physically cure her. She feels alone and isolated from everyone around her. Then one day an old man comes from a far away place to help her. He gives her the "seeing stick", this stick allow does not cure her the way that everyone has tried in the past to. Instead this stick does not cure her from her blindness, but instead it allows her to feel and touch people as well as objects. Her world is opened up to all of the wonderful things around her she was not able to "see" before. The illustrations go from monochromatic black and... more white, to colorful and beautiful after Hwei Min begins to see. Blindness is obviously, a physical disability which is why I chose to include the book into my text set. The Seeing Stick is a Chinese folklore which also enticed me into choosing it, because it was the only folklore who's main character has a disability that I could find. I believe this book is developmentally appropriate for elementary school aged children, because the main character is a young girl and they can identify with her on that level. Hwei Min is also a princess which I believe, is captivating to elementary students. Jane Yolen is the author of this book, and she is not from a Chinese origin, but rather a Jewish one. However, she is somewhat of an expert on folklore, and has written many children's books on folklore. In fact she won an award for her book Favorite Folktales From Around the World. I would not consider her an insider, because she does not culturally identify as Chinese, but I would consider her knowledgeable about folklore from many different cultures.
review 2: Princess Hwei Ming, daughter of an emperor of ancient China, has been blind since birth. Monks, magicians, and doctors all try to give her back her sight, but no one is able to help her until an old man comes to the great city with his seeing stick. By carving intricate images on the stick, the old man teaches the princess to see with her hands rather than her eyes. Her father is overjoyed that she's learned a new way to see, and he rewards the old man with a post in the palace. Hwei Ming goes on to teach other blind children how to see in a new way.The illustrations in this book are especially impressive--as the old man arrives at the palace and opens up Hwei Ming's world with his stories, we see her life go from a dull gray to glossy pages filled with vibrant images suggestive of the stylized carvings on the seeing stick. We see that Hwei Ming's clothes are red, her father's yellow, and the courtiers' blue, yellow, and purple. Though the story is subtle and has no particular message, it deeply reminds us that a disability is only as limiting as we allow it to be, and that all of us must find the courage to "live by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). less
Reviews (see all)
everything Jane yolen writes is magic and the illustrations are gorgeous
Amazing illustrations, but the plot leaves something to be desired.
Loved the story and the gorgeous illustrations!
there is more than one way to see the world...
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