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The Seeing Stick

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  161 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
The same story that captivated readers in 1977 is back in a stunning new edition! Hwei Min, the only daughter of the emperor of China, has been blind since birth. Her father offers a reward to anyone who can find a cure for the little girl. It seems that no one from magicians to physicians can help her. Then, one day a wise old man with a mysterious seeing stick visits the ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Running Press Kids (first published August 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

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Paige Clarke
Oct 15, 2014 Paige Clarke rated it really liked it
The Seeing Stick is a story that revolves around the life of a Chinese Princess, Hwei Min and daughter of the Emperor of China. She has been blind since birth, and it none of her father's physicians or magicians can help her to see with her eyes, or physically cure her. She feels alone and isolated from everyone around her. Then one day an old man comes from a far away place to help her. He gives her the "seeing stick", this stick allow does not cure her the way that everyone has tried in the pa ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 06, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy original fairy tales, particularly those interested in blindness
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Gorgeous illustrations and there is a perfect juncture where the pictures in gray tones end and colors blossom.

This is the story about a blind princess in Peking, China, who is taught to see by an old blind man who carves on his walking stick what his fingers have felt. She learns to see with her fingers. It’s a fine original fairy tale that has commonalities with traditional fairy tales, such as a Princess’s father, a king offering riches to those who can help the princess, his daughter, in som
Mar 06, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-my-boys
Our library has a good collection of children's books by Jane Yolen so we raided it and this is the second of the week. Yolen is a wonderful storyteller, able to take old tales that many children might find boring and make the story captivating to young minds. She has a gift for introducing new concepts into a simple story and afterwards, one can think back over what was included and be impressed at the amount of new imagery, concepts, or factual knowledge that hopefully will stick in those litt ...more
Sharon Lawler
First published in 1977, the title was reissued in 2009 with illustrations by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini. This original fairy or folk tale about the blind daughter of China's Emperor. In hopes of curing his only child, the emperor invites anyone with a solution to make an appearance at the palace. Illustrations are black and white, until the old man with the seeing stick appears at the gates to the outer city, where they start to take on a glossy color. Nice finish about the princess who grew e ...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
The story is a pretty nice little tale unless you want to take a feminist reading to it and complain about yet another helpless female who requires male assistance for happiness. I sort of really like the art itself but have some problems with the design of the book. The copyright page is the left hand page of the spread containing the first page on the right. I don't think I've been bothered by this before, but it's a rather abrupt and ugly start to a book and goes without a half title page as ...more
Linda Lipko
Oh my, but this book took my breath away with the beauty of the story and the incredible, lush, soul-grabbing illustrations.

Working in publications, I'm aware that whenever there is an extra process, while it enhances the illustration, it can cost a great deal more.

I have no doubt that that the publisher, author and illustrator believed the cost was well worth the end product.

Many of the pages have a wonderful uv lamination process that pops the images right off the pages!

This is a story of the
Barb Middleton
This is a terrific read aloud. Students love how the color on the illustrations unfolds mirroring the blind girl's attempt to "see" with her fingers. The embossed pages are like Braille and it's so much fun seeing kids gape at the surprise ending. Hwei Min is the emperor's daughter and was born blind. She is shown as being alone and isolated in the beginning of the story as people try to come from all over the country to cure her of her blindness.When an old man travels from a great distance wit ...more
Princess Hwei Ming, daughter of an emperor of ancient China, has been blind since birth. Monks, magicians, and doctors all try to give her back her sight, but no one is able to help her until an old man comes to the great city with his seeing stick. By carving intricate images on the stick, the old man teaches the princess to see with her hands rather than her eyes. Her father is overjoyed that she's learned a new way to see, and he rewards the old man with a post in the palace. Hwei Ming goes o ...more
Mariah Christiansen
This book is about a girl named Hwei Min, who is the only daughter of the emperor of China, and is blind. She has been blind since birth and her father offers a reward to whoever can heal her. No one is able to help Hwei until a wise old man gives the girl a "seeing stick", although Hwei is still unable to see, she uses this "seeing stick" to live her life.
This is a great story for overcoming obstacles for students because even though they may not be cured but there are many technological advan
Aug 26, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
I loved the 1970s edition of this book. As a child, I remember entering fully into the world of this story. As an adult, I appreciate the way the story unfolds. The princess does not receive what she requests in the way she anticipated. And yet, her life is transformed. The exquisitely detailed illustrations illuminate the story as they shift from black-and-white to full color at the end. I can't wait to read this with my daughter soon.
Algona Public
Jan 22, 2015 Algona Public rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-readers, amy
This is a charming fairy tale about a young princess born blind. As she grows, she becomes saddened by her lack of sight. Her father offers a reward to anyone who can find a cure, but no one from magicians to physicians can cure her. Then, one day a wise old man with a mysterious seeing stick visits the princess in hopes of helping her experience the world's beauty.
Shelli Gheen
Apr 03, 2013 Shelli Gheen rated it really liked it
In The Seeing Stick (2009), written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, a young blind Chinese princess longs to be able to see. Her father, the Emperor, also desires this offers a wealth in jewels to the person who can bring her sight. Doctors, monks, and magician-priests all try their methods on her, but no one can remove her blindness. Finally, an old man with a golden wood stick, his seeing stick, comes to help her see.

Themes: Helping others; Coping through disabilit
May 03, 2014 Stacy added it
Shelves: picture-book
Beautiful illustrations. I really enjoyed this book.
It's about a blind princess who her father the emperor has promised treasure to the person who can make her see. An old man helps her to see but not in the way others do. He helps her see in her own way.
Jun 03, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Great story by Jane Yolen - one of my favorites. I love the illustrations and the progression from black and white to color. This book is too long for a public storytime, but great for reading to a couple kids.
Dec 12, 2015 Alice rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-25-stars
3.25 stars This is a very interesting complex book. I enjoyed the pictures as it told a story as well. The twist at the end made my jaw drop open. Nicely done!
In Peking China there was a mighty emperor who could buy anything he desired, yet what he wanted the most he could not have. His daughter Hwei Ming was born blind, more than anything the emperor wished that she could be made to see. Even though many people tried, magicians, physicians, priests, no one could help the princess to see. An old blind man from a distant land heard of the emperors wishes and journeys many days to help with the aid of his “Seeing Stick.” This is a beautifully illustrate ...more
Beth Huddleston
Apr 24, 2015 Beth Huddleston rated it it was amazing
Amazing and beautiful! I need this book to teach irony.
Feb 16, 2014 Alenna rated it really liked it
Loved the story and the gorgeous illustrations!
Miss Ryoko
Oct 16, 2011 Miss Ryoko rated it really liked it
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover illustration. I also knew this story was going to be about a little girl who is blind (and I happen to know one of those! Haha, but she's not little, she's one of my best friends), so I wanted to read it. The illustrations are beautiful and quite impressive. I loved how the pictures had texture too, after the old man showed up. The story was lovely, of course. These are the kinds of picture books I love stumbling across.
Benjamin Zapata
Jun 11, 2011 Benjamin Zapata rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful tales I'd ever read,by the lady often called "the Hans Christian Andersen of America",the wonderful Jane Yolen! Winner of a "Christopher Medal",the book is pure beauty,with breathtaking artwork by newcomer Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini,and a breathtaking prose by a master storyteller. First published in 1977 to great acclaim,the book is back for a whole new generation,and once you read it,to stay safe in your heart forever.Unforgettable!
Jan 27, 2011 Terry marked it as wish-list
Becky reviewed The Seeing Stick at Young Readers in November 2009. The book cover image grabbed me first, then I saw it was by Jane Yolen. From Becky: "Jane Yolen is still Jane Yolen. But wow, these illustrations! The book would not have been anywhere close to the same without these pictures!" This looks like it could remind me of The Empty Pot, which I adore.
Mar 12, 2016 Relyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fairytale lovers
Recommended to Relyn by: I love almost everything by Jane Yolen
Shelves: lawsonland
When I spotted this in a bookstore on the way to Columbia, Missouri, I knew I had to buy it. I knew it before I opened it. I knew it before I saw that it was written by one of my favorite authors of all time - Jane Yolen. The art in this book is nothing less than breathtaking. Stunning. It captured me and the story held me. It did the same to my daughter. And the same again to my class when I read it to them. Magic.

Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Nov 14, 2009 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, own
Wow! The illustrations alone are worth buying this book and keeping it as part of a picture book collection. Jane Yolen originally put this out years ago with different illustrations. However, this version is amazing. The book starts with gray-scale pictures and develop color and texture are the story progresses. The tale of how an old man helps a young blind girl "see" is wonderful.
Dec 10, 2015 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, picture-books
Beautiful, incredibly vibrant illustrations bring this lovely and engaging story to life.
Anne Beardsley
Beautiful! The breathtaking illustrations initially only serve to underline the tragedy of a princess who is born blind in a visually lovely world. Later, they underscore how much beauty she can 'see'. A wonderful story, well told and interesting, about how to deal with the things we lack.
Sep 10, 2012 Connie rated it liked it
I was looking forward to the great illustrations by Daniela Terrazzini, but unfortunately the only copy at my library was the old 1977 version in which the illustrations are, well, mediocre. The story was alright, but I guess my disappointment with the art got in the way of my enjoyment. Oh well.
Oct 24, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
My new favorite children's book. Gorgeous!
Jan 06, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Awesome. Amazing illustrations.
Keith Schoch
Dec 02, 2009 Keith Schoch rated it it was amazing
Really beautiful illustrations! Textures and effects unseen in picture books before; very reminiscent of scroll work and calligraphy, while lifted to the touch like Braille.
With subtle raised pictures, art, not illustrations, accompany this great book. A touching story of how a young princess learns to see with her fingers.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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