Stefan Czernecki is an author and illustrator of children's books. He is the author and illustrator of THE CRICKET'S CAGE. Stefan lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit him online at www.stefanczernecki.com.
K-Gr 2-Old Chen is getting tired of crafting the beautiful paper lanterns he has perfected, but there is no one to carry on the tradition-until a boy shows up, full of awe. Old Chen gives Little Mouse chores to do around the shop. The child carefully observes the master at work, and practices in secret at home. One day, he presents his creation to Chen, and the master knows he has finally found an apprentice worthy of his craft. When the big lantern festival comes, Old Chen is too weak to create the dragon masterpiece he has planned, and Little Mouse finishes it, making his teacher proud. While the bright, bold illustrations of the lanterns are lovely to look at, the artist's depiction of the characters is less successful. The round faces, quarter-moon-shaped eyes, prominent top row of teeth, angular wisps of hair, and nerdy buttoned-up shirt style are offensively stereotypical. According to the book jacket, this story is set in modern times, but the representations of the Asian faces are old-fashioned. The artist/author's stylized illustrations in The Cricket's Cage (Hyperion, 1997) are far better. Pass on this one.-DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"This timeless story is sure to touch the minds and hearts of countless readers."