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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brush of the Gods: PB #5 for 14:14 Review


Title: Brush of the Gods
Author: Lenore Look
Illustrator: Meilo So
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Year: 2013
Word Count: 1,336

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Summary

Young Wu Daozi tries to please his calligraphy teacher, but his brush drips out worms and horse tails. Soon Daozi paints on walls in temples and teahouses, and even the great wall surrounding the city. His work becomes known throughout China. One day he paints a butterfly so beautiful and delicate that it appears to be real. When the wind blows, the wing moves, just a little, and the butterfly suddenly flits of. No one believes that his paintings come to life, except the children. Then one day, the emperor asks Daozi to create a masterpiece on a wall of the palace. 

Story Element: Beginnings and Endings

Brush of the Gods is a story about a boy who follows his dreams. On the first page, readers are introduced to a daydreamer who cannot follow his strict teacher’s instructions. Wu Daozi has a passion for painting that in the end is recognized by the emperor. “But a masterpiece takes many years to create. By the time the mural was finished, the great artist had grown old.”

According to legend, the master painter walked into his mural. Thus there's no agreed upon date of Wu Daozi passing, since he never died. That's a magical ending!

By using watercolor, ink, gouache and colored pencils, illustrator Meilo So brings sweeping curves and bright colors to the story.

(Post #5 for the 14:14 Picture Book Blog Review Challenge created by Christie Wild of Write Wild. http://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com)

13 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this legend before but it sounds great. I love art as much as I love books and cultural stories as well so I can't wait to find this book and read it.

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    1. Illustrator Meilo So breathes life into this story.

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  2. How gorgeous a book, how wonderful a story. I had never heard of this either, Manju, and glad you've brought it to my attention (and consequently the attention of my library book order person.) Great example of beginnings and endings.

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    1. I'm happy to suggest books. Brush of the Gods is a treasure.

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  3. Great minds think alike! I just got this from the library this week and was planning to review it. Still might.

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    1. I'm sure you could highlight a different story element.

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  4. Sounds like a lovely story!
    And, for tomorrow.... Happy Chinese New Year!

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  5. What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  6. It's inspiring that the ending of this story is that there is not an ending for the MC.

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