The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Review

Ming Da is the nine-year-old Emperor of China, but his ministers take advantage of his youth and steal from the royal warehouses to sell rice and silks to dishonest merchants. This leaves Ming Da with no money to dress the poor, and he’s afraid of firing the corrupt ministers in case they rebel against him. What can he do?

Yet when Ming’s tailors come to fit him for a new outfit for Chinese New Year, he comes up with the idea to trick his disloyal ministers into giving back the money they’ve stolen.

This retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale incorporates Compestine’s experiences of growing up in the Chinese Cultural Revolution to provide a thoughtful tale about corruption and poverty. David Roberts’ illustrations are lavish and full of his detailed eye for fashion and design.

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