Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This bilingual offering adapts the centuries-old folk song "The Ballad of Mulan." Washed with pale blues, reds, tans, and greens, Li's artwork offers a strong connection to both the setting and to traditional styles of Chinese ink painting. English-speaking readers, however, may find the translation lacking. The tone is often flatly declarative ("Mulan decided to disguise herself as a man and go to war on her father's behalf to fulfill her father's duty to protect the country") as it rapidly ticks off the events in her life, giving little sense of why her legend has endured. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-When Mulan's father is drafted, the young girl who excels at horsemanship, archery, and martial arts takes his place. She spends 12 years fighting a long war, always on the front lines, and is never discovered. She then turns down all gifts and titles from the emperor, asking only for a fast horse to take her home. Her family warmly welcomes her as she changes into more feminine attire to surprise the comrades who accompanied her. Li's gentle and simple retelling stumbles in places, but with only a sentence or two per page, and large, watercolor illustrations that skip the violence of war, this is a safe read-aloud choice for younger audiences. More faithful to the original poem than the Disney movie, it's aimed at a younger audience than San Souci's more beautiful but out-of-print Fa Mulan (Hyperion, 1990). Presented in English and simplified Chinese characters, this is a good bet for libraries looking for non-European folktales or those that will work in a preschool or kindergarten storytime setting.-Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.