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The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty the Beast Tale

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  306 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
When a poor farmer falls into the clutches of a dragon, only Seven, his youngest daughter, will save him—by marrying the beast.
Publishers Weekly praised "Yep's elegant, carefully crafted storytelling" and Mak's "skillfully and radiantly rendered illustrations" in this captivating and luminous Chinese variation of the beauty and the beast tale.

A 1998 Notable Children's Tra
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Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 9th 1999 by HarperCollins (first published 1997)
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Jana at ThatArtsyReaderGirl.com
Find this review and many more at That Artsy Reader Girl!

The Dragon Prince by Laurence Yep is the Chinese version of Beauty and the Beast, and is so rich in culture. Inside the book the author includes his source notes, explaining that this tale is a Southern Chinese version of the classic. He also thanks Truly Shay for helping him translate several tales for him. Immediately, I felt confident that this book would be of very high quality because of the proof of research.

This tale is written in a
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Casey Brady
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Dragon Prince, by Laurence Yep, is a Chinese folkloric children's book.The story starts off with a farmer and his seven daughters, the seventh being his favorite. The seventh daughter, there are no real names mentioned just their numbers, seems to be of perfect character as well as aesthetics. One day a dragon threatens to kills the farmer if none of the daughters agree to marry him, Seven is the only one to come to his rescue. Seven and the dragon fly off eventually getting to a palace wher ...more
Mary
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely romantic retelling of the Beauty and the Beast that is based on a traditional Chinese folktale. Compelling storytelling with lush illustrations will make this a popular read aloud.
Lyra
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I'm not a big Beauty & the Beast fan (although I have nothing against it), but I am a big fan of reinterpretations of class fairy tales, and boy, did this book ever fit the bill! I read this book for a class, so the first thing we did was read the original Beauty & the Beast (whew! does it ever differ from the Disney classic!) and then bring in our own adaptations. I was pleased as punch to see that there was a Chinese version of Beauty & the Beast avail ...more
Julie
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
A cute little child's version of the story.
Michaela Walsh
Title (italicize): The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale
Author: Laurence Yep
Illustrator (if separate from author): Kam Mak
Genre: Non-European Folk tale
Theme(s): family, love, jealousy
Opening line/sentence (type directly from text): “Once there was a poor old farmer with seven daughters”
Brief Book Summary (2-3 sentences in your own words): This story tells the tale of the prized 7th daughter of a poor farmer finding a snake that turns into a dragon and demands to be married t
...more
Jonathan
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful Chinese version of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. The story told extremely well and the illustrations are elegant and luminous.

The seventh sister agrees to marry a serpent to spare her father's life. He reveals himself as a prince before allowing her to visit her family. She is betrayed by a sister and disappointed in her prince. Eventually he finds and rescues her.

The characters are better developed than in most fairy tales. The setting is exotic and the plot o
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Laura Driskell
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
I really like the story of beauty and the beast that I have heard since I was little, Western version. I was curious to see the difference in the Chinese Beauty & the Beast Tale. There is lot of difference between the two, practically everything is different besides the fact that there is a beauty and there is a beast. Which is great because it is unique and not just a rendition. This Chinese folkloric children’s book would be great for the age 5-8. This book would be great to have to use in ...more
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
Taken from my blog, Nine Pages .

Kam Mak’s illustrations for this Chinese Beauty and the Beast type story are stunning. This book is worth it for the photographic realism and vibrant jewel tones of the illustrations alone, but, well, I’m a sucker for folk tales, but I enjoy this one. I especially enjoy this one because Seven is not asked to fall in love with the Beast (or Dragon). She is asked to marry him, yes, but her kindness not her love—no true love’s kiss—gives him reason to choose to pres
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Scott Volz
Based on a traditional Chinese folktale, Yep and Mak's The Dragon Prince is definitely an interesting variation on the "animal bridegroom" motif perhaps best known from Beauty and the Beast. Though the details are quite different from Western versions of the story, the general structure is certainly identifiable, though there are several interesting diversions. The enchanted prince of the tale is not the victim of a curse, but rather takes the dragon form as a means for testing true goodness. Al ...more
Marsha
Beauty and the Beast tales are a common theme in many cultures. This one has its own variations, in that the Beauty is no mere dutiful daughter but a skilled artisan whose work is as lovely as she is.

The Beast is a handsome prince in disguise—no surprise there. But he himself is put to the test when his wife becomes less than a beauty.

This poses a question. Is the prince wrong for initially ignoring his wife’s change in looks? Does it show devotion that he accepts her even when she’s ugly or d
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Dione Basseri
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can't really speak for the cultural accuracy of this book, but I do trust the name of Laurence Yep. They have done quite a few children's books I've loved, so I am willing to bet they did their best to get things accurate with the artist.

As for the story itself, it's you're pretty standard re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast. This is more in line with the original telling of the tale, where there's a good bit of peril and treachery for the heroine to overcome.

I'd say that, if you're looking f
...more
Brianna Mathes
A chinese family makes a living by working on their farm. But the seventh child doesnt have to do the dirty work outside. She gets to do her work inside, so all of her sisters are jealous especially the third sister(the seventh daughter is also the prettiest). One day a dragon comes to the farm and says that one of the farmer's daughters has to go with him or the farmer shall be the dragons next meal. None of them agree to the dragon except the seventh daughter. The dragon and the girl go on a ...more
Margaret Cobb
This book was an interesting twist on the traditional fairy tale as the Chinese culture influence much of the story line and imagery. The naming of the daughters by number (the order in which they were born) shows the lack of importance of each as an individual. In addition, the moral of the story that love is viewed through the heart, not the eyes. Even though Three tried to steal the dragon prince from Seven, the dragon prince was not fooled by the superficial feelings of Three. I think this b ...more
Jacki
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
A dragon threatens to eat a man unless one of his daughters marries him. His youngest accepts and the dragon takes her away. At his castle, he changes into a prince and they marry and live lavishly. She gets homesick and the prince lets her go back to visit. Her sister is jealous and pushes her into a river, taking her place. The prince notices and goes to look for his wife. Seven (the wife) ended up with an old woman, sad that her family betrayed her. The prince finds Seven after seeing her wea ...more
May
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Mary Cate
This book has pretty illustrations and good language. The message is that good character wins out in the end and that greed and selfishness won't get you very far. I like this book but there are a lot of words on each page, which I think is sometimes not very good for children. It requires that they keep their attention focused on one page without anything new to look at. However, the story is pretty interesting and I could see myself re-reading it to a child several times.
James
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice illustrations, and my children were excited about the dragon, but the text blocks were a bit too long between pictures to maintain that excitement. Personally, I've read other Chinese and Korean variants of this folk tale and personally I'm not in favor of this variant that lets the antagonist get away with virtually no consequences.
Andreaiu
A major departure from the classic French Beauty and the Beast tale. Like the traditional tale, the heroine sees through the outer façade of the beast and declares her love for him before his transformation, but the Prince also has to see through the façade of his own beast--the third sister--and realize that she is not his one true love. Interesting twist.
Joe
The pictures are very beautiful and help tell the story just as much as the story itself. A Chinese farmer has seven daughters, and the youngest named Seven cooks, cleans, does embroidery, and is all kindness. The third child, named Three, is always jealous of Seven and tries to cheat her out of her riches.
Gordon
While not a strict retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale, The Dragon Prince, by Laurence Yep, is a delightful Chinese version of the story. Curiously, despite coming from the Chinese tradition, the illustrations are neither as lush, nor as numerous as desired. The memorable theme in The Dragon Prince is, "The eye sees what it will, but the heart sees what it should."
Phair
I love finding B&B stories from other cultures. This one was almost a combination of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Also liked the double "beasts"- where both Beauty and the Beast must see beyond transformations. Rich looking illustrations by Kam Mak but I felt a jarring between the almost cartoonish dragon and the hyper realistic human figures. Backgrounds were very simple.
Tasia
A different retelling that I enjoyed, but I wish some more time had been taken with transitions. Sometimes I feel events move too quickly. Illustrations have a blend of fantasy and realism, bringing you quickly into the world of the story.
Jane
A short & sweet tale of a girl from a poor family who agrees to marry a dragon. The narrative is a bit typical of stories packaged for a Western audience, I think, though. Kam Mak's illustrations are gorgeous.
Beth
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: boys and girls age 4-6
Recommended to Beth by: found at the library
This is like a Chinese version of Cinderella. We found it at the library when Joey was in his "dragon" phase, and he liked this book, even though there was LOTS of text. The illustrations are stunningly beautiful, and the moral of the story is that it's important to be courageous and true.
Damore
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
Beautiful illustrations and story about truth and beauty. We used this as a supplement to our study of ancient China. My five and six year old boys were so inspired that they immediately began working on their own Chinese dragon illustrations after we read this book.
Camille
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: family-st
I think this book is really beautifully illustrated and I love this tale, which I learned from a storyteller before I actually read the book. It is easily adapted to a play structure or for a single storyteller if you're up for it!
Alyssa
Ok, so I accidentally came across this book in the library, and found out it is a children's picture book.
Teri
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-china
nice--my kids really liked this. The story was substantial and the illustrations were enchanting.
Bayla
I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that this was a picture book, but it was enjoyable anyway.
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14199
Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
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