Hu Wan and the Sleeping Dragon
by Judy Young, illustrated by Jordi Solano
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018
Hu Wan, a poor Chinese peasant boy, lives with his grandfather who is old and becomes very close to dying. When the Chinese Emperor dies and his young son becomes the new Emperor, gifts are requested to cheer him up. Hu Wan knows how sad he was when his grandfather almost died and takes his first gourd he has shaped into a cricket cage to the new Emperor as a gift. He humbly sets it on a table with very expensive gifts others had brought. He is most surprised when a guard shows up and learns the new Emperor enjoyed the cricket’s song and requests more gourd cricket cages, for which he will be paid generously.
A wonderful, heart-felt story showing how being yourself and doing what you do best is rewarded.