The Water Dragon

The Water Dragon : A Chinese Legend

4.01 (79 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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This fancifully illustrated multicultural children's book tells a famous Chinese myth about a young boy's quest to save his village. Long ago, in a remote village in China, there lived a kind and generous little boy. He spent his days in the forest, collecting wood to trade for food. One day, the boy made a wondrous discovery: a magic stone that caused his money jar and rice crocks to overflow, both of which he shared with the poor villagers.

But strange things began to happen. It no longer rained. The crops died. The rivers dried up. A terrible drought had struck and would not release its grip. The brave young boy, full of dreams of a white, water-spewing Dragon, took his magic stone on a journey--and discovered how to save his village.

Other books in the Chinese Zodiac Series (as well as the year of that animal) include:

Little Pigs and the Sweet Rice Cakes--2007 & 2019
Magical Rooster--2005 & 2017
Little Monkey King's Journey--2016 & 2028
Snake Goddess Colors the World--2013 & 2025
Horse and the Mysterious Drawing--2014 & 2026
Sheep Beauty--2015 & 2027
Bronze Dog--2006 & 2018
Little Rat and the Golden Seed--2008 & 2020
Little Calf--2009 & 2021
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Product details

  • 0-5
  • Hardback | 42 pages
  • 229 x 235 x 10mm | 413g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • Full Colour Hand Illustrations
  • 1602209782
  • 9781602209787
  • 19,375

Review quote

"Graceful watercolors in a traditional Chinese style with an autumnal palette suitably accompany the tale. [T]he story nonetheless has the satisfying elements of an entertaining and adventurous folktale." --Kirkus Reviews "The Water Dragon is a Chinese legend and the story is fantastic with a surprise ending." --Parenting Healthy blog "This remarkable book is experienced illustrator Li Jian's first foray into writing his own picture book. The pictures, which combine Li's classical training in Chinese painting with his talent for bringing fairy tales to life, are at least as compelling as the bilingual text (in English and simplified Chinese characters). Ah Bao is both a courageous and humble hero with a big heart and a sense of responsibility. He will be admired by children and parents, who will doubtless look forward to Li Jian's next solo offering." blog "I read The Water Dragon to my 3rd-grade students as a read aloud. It is a wonderfully told folktale with lovely illustrations. The kids loved it. It is written in English and has Chinese sub characters. For teachers, this book would be a wonderful addition to your collection of legends and folktales. Parents can read it aloud to their children. My students absolutely were delighted by the ending!" --San Francisco Book Review "A translation into Chinese characters appears on every page, making it a fine language instruction tool." --Publishers Weekly "This super cool Chinese Legend is about a boy who journeys to save his town from drought." -- KidTime StoryTime
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About Li Jian

Li Jian graduated from Hebei Normal University in 2001, majoring in Chinese Painting. Formerly a middle school art teacher, children's book editor and a partner in an illustration studio, Li now owns his own illustration studio focusing on illustrations for children's fairy tales.
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Rating details

79 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 30% (24)
4 44% (35)
3 22% (17)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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