The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful

illus. by Andrea Offermann. 40p. Putnam. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399171154.
PreS-Gr 2—An empowering tale set in Ancient China with broad appeal. The day the Lee sisters Mei and Wei are born, a frightening but rather drowsy dragon stretches his body over the Dan-Tat Bridge and refuses to budge, inconveniencing and terrifying the villagers who live on either side of a gorge. Even as babies, the girls' yin-yang personalities are visible, as they spiral around one each other in a basket—Wei with curled fist and furrowed brow and Mei with a peaceful countenance. At the tender age of five, Wei, the braver of the two, faces Frightful head on. But Wei's headstrong methods only work when fused with the thoughtful insights of obedient and clever Mei. Offerman's art is culturally sound and striking in its depiction of the villagers' dress and the beauty of the rice terraces. Her use of pencil and glazing add a softness to the beautifully proportioned spreads, inviting eyes to linger on detail and then rest in the white space.
VERDICT Expertly crafted, in both word and form, this tale feels old and new and will be gobbled up by kids.

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