Seven beautiful stories featuring Chinese mythology, chosen by Maisie Chan
Published on: 21 July 2021
There are so many incredible myths and legends originating in China - and these stories inspired author Maisie Chan to write Tiger Warrior. Here, Maisie shares some of her favourite books to feature Chinese mythology.
Author Maisie Chan and the cover of Tiger Warrior: Attack of the Dragon King
Kuan Yin: The Princess Who Become the Goddess of Compassion by Maya van der Meer, illustrated by Wen Hsu (Bala Kids)
The illustrations are beautiful in this picture book about one of my favourite Chinese deities – Kuan Yin (which is also spelt many other ways such as Guan Yin). The story is a famous one and the older retellings have often been harsh as many old fairytales and legends are. However, this is done in a fairly easy to digest way and retells the story of how Princess Miao Shan became the goddess of compassion and mercy.
Kuan Yin: The Princess Who Become the Goddess of Compassion by Maya van der Meer, illustrated by Wen Hsu
The Monkey King by Rosie Dickens, illustrated by Germano Ovani and translated by Evelyn Ong (Usborne Young Reading)
The Monkey King is one of the most famous characters in Chinese myths and legends. I used to watch a TV show called Monkey Magic when I was younger. I was charmed by the characters floating on clouds and by Monkey’s friends Pigsy and Sandy. Monkey is a mischievous character but one who stands the test of time.
Luna and the Moon Rabbit by Camille Whitcher (Scribblers)
The moon rabbit in Chinese mythology was the companion to Chang’e a moon goddess. This picture book follows Luna, whose grandma has told her to leave some rice cakes out for the moon rabbit and maybe he will come down to visit, but Luna is not so sure. However, she and the rabbit have a moon lit adventure in this magical tale.
Luna and the Moon Rabbit by Camille Whitcher
Kai and the Monkey King by Joe Todd Stanton (Flying Eye Books)
Here we follow Kai, a Chinese girl who comes from a long line of explorers in a colourful graphic novel for younger children. The book includes pictures of other East Asian myths such as the nine-tailed fox and the Fenghuang (the mystical phoenix) and the nian monster. Her encounter with Monkey becomes a fun adventure and the illustrations are vibrant and fresh.
Kai and the Monkey King by Joe Todd Stanton
Year of the Tiger by Oliver Chin and Justin Roth (Immedium Publishing)
I bought this book because my son was born in the year of the Tiger. It’s one of a series of books which follow one of the Chinese zodiac animals.
Dragon Mountain by Kevin Tsang and Katie Tsang (Simon and Schuster)
This middle-grade book features Billy Chan who is Asian American and other children from around the world who meet at a Camp Dragon in China. They find out that dragons are more than myths and legends in this fast-paced adventure.
Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang
Ladybird Tales of Superheroes (Puffin)
This collection of stories has a Mulan tale written by me! I loved researching the many legends of Hua Mulan and coming up with my own retelling for this gorgeous anthology.
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