Friday, February 10, 2012

Warriors and Wailers by Sarah Tsiang

I received a copy of Warriors and Wailers: One Hundred Ancient Chinese Jobs You Might Have Relished or Reviled.  This came to me in Ebook format from Annick Press to review.  I am not paid for this review or asked to do anything but give my honest opinion.
Ever thought of becoming an emperor? How about a silk maker?
China was one of the most advanced societies in the ancient world. Whether in medicine, the arts, or education, the Chinese far outpaced the Europeans. Although most people were peasants, society included a myriad of other jobs.

It may sound like a great position, but being emperor had its downside. If you displeased the gods, you could be put to death. As a silk maker, you would be sworn to secrecy so foreigners wouldn't learn how to spin the precious thread. Other jobs included wailer (yes, you'll cry whether you want to or not), noodle maker (noodles were not only delicious, but also a symbol of long life), or Shaolin warrior monk (if you were really good, you could break stone slabs with your fists).

A fact-filled introduction, index, and timeline make this book-the sixth in the series-perfect for research projects, while the humorous illustrations keep it fun.

Sarah Tsiang is a poet and the author of two Annick titles, A FLOCK OF SHOES and DOGS DON'T EAT JAM AND OTHER THINGS BIG KIDS KNOW. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Martha Newbigging has illustrated many Annick books, including RESEARCH ATE MY BRAIN, and all the books in the Jobs in History series. Martha lives in rural Ontario.
My Thoughts:
I have always been intrigued with Chinese history, culture and Kung Fu (No I am not a Black Belt or even practice… I just copy Bruce Lee!).  Anyways I saw this book and was interested based off that and the fact that our family is in the process, as many of you reading this know, of adopting 2 Chinese children.

I loved this book.  It brought to life the system of Rank and Honor that was present between the Han and Tang Dynasty’s.  We will be purchasing this book very soon to add to our list of titles that will help keep our family and our Chinese children familiar with their culture.  This is a great book for anyone interested in China, interested in teaching their children (Adopted or Not) about China. 

One final note, not only is this book tastefully written (This is evident in the description of a Concubine that even my Grandmother could read and not blush about) as well as the Illustrations that help the children to PICTURE the job field being described. 

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