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FU FINDS THE WAY by John Rocco


by John Rocco and illustrated by John Rocco

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0965-5
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Westerners have long been fascinated with Eastern culture. Still, this tale of a boy whose accidental affront of a fierce warrior results in a challenge may struggle to find an enthusiastic audience. Fu is clearly a small boy with a big imagination. Pretending that his pet duck is a fierce dragon makes him careless in his planting and leads to a reprimand. Frustrated, Fu flings a handful of mud—right into warrior Chang’s face. Hoping for help, Fu visits the Master, who has trained many fighters. Rather than instruct him in swordplay, however, the Master teaches Fu how to pour tea with purpose, flow and patience. Miraculously, when they meet, Chang is so impressed by Fu’s mastery of the tea ceremony that the fight is forestalled. Rocco’s story flows smoothly and his illustrations are rich and appealing, varying full spreads with panels to tell the story. Sepia tones reinforce the story’s faraway feel; touches of humor add interest. Nonetheless, the ending feels flat and may not make sense to some young listeners. Best shared by an enlightened adult with a thoughtful child. (Picture book. 4-7)