Adrienne's Reviews > Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun's Kung Fu

Beautiful Warrior by Emily Arnold McCully
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's review
Apr 23, 2009

bookshelves: traditional-tales, lis-565, picturebooks
Read in April, 2009

In ancient China, kung fu was both a form of self-defense and a way to train the mind. Wu Mei, a Shaolin nun, was skilled in kung fu. She became famous, for at that time, Chinese women did not practice kung fu or any of the martial or meditative arts.
In a village not far from Wu Mei's Shaolin monastary, lived Mingyi Wang, the beancurd seller's daughter. When Mingyi was betrothed to a local bully (whom she was NOT going to marry), she remembered the story of Wu Mei, and went to the monastary to ask for help. Surely Wu Mei could defeat the bully and save Mingyi from a terrible fate. And she does, but not in the way Mingyi expects!

This Chinese legend is retold with lovely colorful paintings by Emily Arnold McCully. The rich architecture and clothing of China are brought to life in the illustrations, while the Chinese philosophy of the Shaolin monastary shines through the story of two courageous women.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jay (new)

Jay Maybe I am only now discovering it but it seems like in traditional Chinese tales the women are lot more empowered than their western equivalents.

message 2: by Adrienne (new) - added it

Adrienne It definitely depends on the story, but I have found quite a few Asian stories that have strong female characters.

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