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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wunderkind Reads - The Ru-Lan Series






Ru-Lan Volume 1 - The Prince is Born {Ages 4 - 6; 48 pages; $10.95; Heritage Builders Publishing} 

Shortly after his miraculous birth, made possible with help from the phoenix, prince Ru-lan is captured by Su-ling, the evil enchantress, who plans to raise Ru-lan and use him to take over the kingdom. Several years later, the phoenix reminds the little boy of his real identity, and he escapes from Su-ling’s cottage with the help of his animal friends. Once their son is firmly ensconced in the palace, the emperor and empress undertake a daring plot to forever rid the kingdom of the threat of the evil enchantress.

The first book in the Ru-lan series depicts Ru-lan’s origin. Thrown into one adventure after another, Ru-lan demonstrates the values of compassion, empathy, loyalty and friendship even when faced with dangerous enemies intent on destroying all he holds dear. Children not only learn valuable life lessons but also are also introduced to interesting aspects of Chinese culture creating an extended learning experience. Basia Tov illustrates this first volume in the series with a beautiful touch, the images of animals and the young prince have a naive child-like feeling that is at once familiar and exotic, sure to appeal to parents and kids alike.







Ru-lan Volume 2 - Attack of The Stink Bugs {Ages 4-6; 48 pages; $10.95; Heritage Builders Publishing}

The evil enchantress Su-ling had a sister, Ya-Mei, the good enchantress. For 200 years, Su-ling had kept Ya-Mei imprisoned in the body of a caged rabbit. Ya-Mei was freed when the Emperor destroyed her evil sister, and she is very grateful. Many years before her death, Su-ling had placed a curse on the kingdom, that upon her demise, would trigger the unleashing of a swarm of highly destructive, magically enhanced stink bugs on their crops, threatening their food supply and very survival. Once this happens, Ya-Mei, seeing the desperate situation, grants Ru-lan power over insects. This power helps the young prince save the kingdom from starvation. In victory, Ru-lan shows compassion for his enemies, teaching everyone a lesson. He also meets the young, talented, precocious Cai Hua, his future wife. The illustrations by Basia Tov continue to bring the story to life with a magical sense of realism that takes its inspiration from authentic early Chinese painting.

The Ru-lan series is entertaining and a great way to expose your young ones to new and different cultures. Until next time...



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