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Gift of words for young readers

By Gu Xin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-01 09:39

A page from   Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix

Author: Yang Fan, et al.

Illustrator: Yang Fan, et al.

Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix is a piece of folk music that depicts a bustling scene of chirping birds. The uplifting tune, often performed with suona (a double reed horn), is a show of appreciation for nature. As the story goes, the phoenix, once just an ordinary bird, shared its food with the others after the forest was hit with a severe drought. Out of gratitude, the birds in the forest plucked their best feathers and dedicated them to the phoenix, making the phoenix the most beautiful bird of all. The kindness of the phoenix and the other birds' gratitude towards its generosity reflect the essence of virtue in traditional Chinese culture.

The picture book Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix uses Chinese elements, including artistic styles found at the Dunhuang murals, ink paintings and embroideries among others to create an exquisite paradise of birds. Hues and styles unique to traditional Chinese culture were selected to create lively and animated feathered friends that modern readers can appreciate. Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix is a Golden Key Award winner at the Beijing International Book Festival in 2019.

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