The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks

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Author: Katherine Paterson

Illustrator: Leo & Diane Dillon


PATERSON, Katherine. The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks. Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon. NY: Lodestar/Dutton [1990]. 4to, [36]pp. Mustard quarter-cloth stamped in gold with brick red boards pictorially stamped in gold. Color pictorial endpapers; color illustrations on every page. Minute bumping to front corners, else a fine copy in original color pictorial dust jacket. Signed by the artists, two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo & Diane Dillon.

First edition. A wonderful retelling of a popular Japanese folktale, wonderfully brought to life in watercolor and pastel paintings in the style of 18th century Japanese woodcuts. A beautiful mandarin duck is captured and caged by a greedy lord who wants to show off the bird's magnificent plumage. But the wild creature pines for his mate. When Yasuko, the kitchen maid, releases the bird against her lord's command, she and the one-eyed servant, Shozo, are sentenced to death. The grateful bird intends to return their kindness, but can he outsmart the cruel lord?