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TEN SUNS by Eric A. Kimmel


A Chinese Legend

adapted by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by YongSheng Xuan

Pub Date: April 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-8234-1317-9
Publisher: Holiday House

This exquisitely illustrated Chinese legend explains why just one sun rests in the sky above. In a long-ago time, the Emperor Di Jun has ten suns—his sons. Each day, they take turns orbiting the earth by walking across the sky, bringing light and warmth to the planet and its people. Though the people show their gratitude by worshipping the Emperor-god and his suns, the boys soon grow weary of following the same path in solitude. Against their father’s warnings, the suns walk across the sky together one day, and their combined heat sears the earth, drying the crops and soil, boiling the waters, and nearly killing all the earth’s inhabitants. Di Jun sends an archer to find the suns and shoot them down, which the archer does, to all but one. Xuan’s magical illustrations are as richly crafted and detailed as fine embroidery on Chinese silk. The varied vibrant colors, shapes, and textures are a feast: Sinews pop from trees, muscles bulge on the archer, garments roil and flow from the gods. Combined with Kimmel’s simple yet captivating retelling, these evocative illustrations will appeal to readers and listeners alike. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)