I’m happy to be a part of the Chinese Heritage Tale Tour, featuring Raggedy Chan and Nine Tale Fox by Camille Picott. Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.
May is Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and one way we celebrate our cultures is to share stories and folktales. Raggedy Chan and Nine Tail Fox are two short stories, perfect for sharing with middle grade readers.
Review of Nine Tail Fox
When Emma meets with discrimination in school because of her skin color and eyes, she turns to Auntie for comfort. Auntie tells Emma a story of the Nine Tail Fox, named Ainu, who used her power to defeat Chih Yu, an evil monster.
In this short story, readers learn a lesson of Truth and perseverance, set in the traditional style of storytelling with animals as characters. Chih Yu appears to be one thing, but when Ainu tricks him into taking off his mask, the other animals can see him for what he truly is, a demon who thrives on hatred. This story is based on the attitudes of prejudice that prevailed against the Chinese in 1800s San Francisco. In an entrancing story, young people learn to look below the surface, and not judge anyone by their appearance.
This is a book my granddaughter, who loves anime, would enjoy.
Review of Raggedy Chan
In this tale, young Emma doesn’t have a doll that represents her heritage. The red-haired Raggedy Ann is a far cry from who she is, so her Auntie brings her a hand sewn, black haired Raggedy Chan. Raggedy Chan sets out on an adventure to save her homeland, Kunlun. The author masterfully blends characters from Chinese mythology with American tall tales to weave a story of cultures coming together yet remaining distinct in their own traditions. Chapters switch between Emma and Auntie sharing a day together with Raggedy Chan on her adventures. This story will be a delight for children everywhere.
Camille Picott is offering an autographed Raggedy Chan bookmark to every commenter; a Chinese Heritage Tale illustration signed by the author and illustrator to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a grand prize of a Limited Edition Raggedy Chan Doll to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. A choice of a Raggedy Chan doll or signed Chinese Heritage Tale print will be awarded to a randomly drawn host. (ALL ITEMS US ONLY) If you follow the tour and comment on each stop, you’ll have more chances to win.
Excerpt One Nine-Tail Fox:
Ainu’s eyes fell on the small bronze-colored island. She blinked, frowning. Was it her imagination, or did it just move? That was ridiculous. Islands didn’t move.
Except this one did. It rose, a bald dome arching up toward the crooked moon. The twin peninsulas rose up on either side—except those strips of land weren’t peninsulas. They were arms. Two powerful hands crested out of the water, whipping up the sea. The dome emerged fully, revealing an enormous head topped with curving black horns. Black eyes bright with hatred looked straight at them. A broad, bronze-scaled body stood waist-deep in water, about one hundred yards from the steamship.
“Nine-Tails,” the beast whispered, sea foam dripping between his teeth. He spoke the words with hunger. “Nine-Tails.”
Chih Yu. He was bigger than she had imagined. He stood taller than any tree she’d ever seen; not even the stories made him out to be this big. Fear welded Ainu’s feet to the freighter deck. Staring up at the monster, unable to move, she did the only thing she could: she screamed.
Chih Yu dove into the water, driving up a huge wave before him as he charged. The sailors, roused from slumber, cried, “Tidal wave!”
“Get off the ship,” Papa bellowed. “Now!”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.
Website and blog: http://www.camillepicott.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/camillepicott or @camillepicott
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/camillepicott