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New picture book tells story of folk legend

By Xing Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-01 07:30

Covers of the picture book, Mulan, showing the legendary heroine in warrior armor. [Photo provided to China Daily]

There are a thousand Mulan in a thousand people's eyes.

A traditional heroine in China, Mulan was first documented 1,500 years ago in a poem during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581). As the only child of an aging war veteran, she defied the convention and laws that women cannot be soldiers, and disguised herself as a man to join the army in lieu of her feeble father.

The story of Mulan has since been told by generations in different forms. The latest is Disney's live-action film, which was scheduled to be released on Friday.

But Ye Luying, who teaches illustration at China Academy of Art, tries to show a different Mulan, one that is not so extraordinary as a military hero but as common as a girl next door, in her upcoming picture book-Mulan-published on Aug 26.

"Mulan's life path is that of a small town girl setting off into the world, which is very similar to the experiences of some women in contemporary society. It is also a drive for me to draw this book," says Ye, who has published five picture books since 2013 and won the best illustration of the China Animation& Comic Golden Dragon Award in 2016.

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