“A long time ago, when nobody had even heard of planet Earth, and when humans did not yet exist, darkness and chaos reigned throughout the universe, which resembled a giant hen’s egg. It was then that a hero called Pangu was born.”
The book by authors (translators) Tina llgo, Tjaše Vilotič, Katje Simončič and Mojca Seljak, contains 32 traditional Chinese myths and legends. The stories come from a study of various sources that introduce the reader to the amazing world of mythological creatures from Chinese culture. The rich illustrations accompanying the stories were created by Peter Škerl, Marta Bartolj, Anka Kočevar, Jure Engelsberger, Jaka Vukotič, Polona Lovšin, Liana Saje Wang and Huiqin Wang.
The stories that will appeal to a variety of readers, who like heroes and monsters, brave carp fish, a cunning rat, and a beautiful phoenix. And then there are those who are interested in the complexity of folklore and Chinese history.
The authors’ diverse approaches coincide with that of Chinese myths. The Chinese did not have Homer, who compiled the individual elements of the myths into a unified poem. Fragmented through various philosophical and literary texts, these myths have retained their multiplicity and original elements of storytelling. They present us with an authentic insight into how people in the olden days understood the world, nature, and society throughout various historical periods.
Eight incredibly talented illustrators have interwoven the spirit of Chinese myths and legends, historical information, and motifs from stories with their own interpretations and artistic approaches.