The Crystal Heart by Aaron Shepard
A Vietnamese Legend

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As the daughter of a great mandarin, Mi Nuong leads a sheltered life. But one day, sitting in her tower, a song floats to her from a distant fishing boat on the river. "My love is like a blossom in the breeze. My love is like a moonbeam on the waves." The voice is so beautiful, she knows the singer must be young and handsome -- perhaps even a mandarin's son in disguise. Could it be that the song is for her? She longs to meet him, but how? And what will she find if she does? In this poignant legend, a young lady discovers that appearances can deceive, but the heart speaks true. TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS -- A READER'S THEATER SCRIPT OF THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE IN AARON'S BOOK "FOLKTALES ON STAGE," OR FREE ON AARON'S WEB SITE. ///////////////////////////////////////////////// Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Adventures of Mouse Deer," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater. Joseph Daniel Fiedler has had work appear in numerous national and international publications, including Time and Business Week, and has received a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators. ///////////////////////////////////////////////// 1999 Best Children's Books, Bank Street College of Education 1999-2000 Recommended Reading List, Kansas Reading Circle "Haunting tale of unrequited love.... Shepard paces his polished storytelling to accommodate atmospheric details. Despite the Vietnamese setting, this sophisticated story has much in common with Hans Christian Andersen's sorrowful romances, and its words and images will likely linger with readers." -- Publishers Weekly, July 6, 1998 "A keen tale of false expectations and confused priorities.... For his first picture book, Fiedler produces exquisite artwork; the landscapes are magically transporting, while the lustrous colors radiate an antique, spiritual quality." -- Kirkus Reviews "Shepard's retelling captures all the romantic feeling in an economical use of text without forfeiting any of the haunting mood. This could provide a lovely segue into thoughtful discussion on expectations, disappointment, and reparation." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-Aug. 1998 "Shepard's simple yet elegant prose meshes well with Fiedler's dramatic artwork. A good choice for storytellers, this romantic tale will be popular with a wide range of audiences." -- Kay Weisman, Booklist, Oct. 1, 1998 "Beautifully retold and illustrated." -- Children's Book Committee, Bank Street College of Education, Best Children's Books for the Year, 1999  

About Aaron Shepard

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Aaron Shepard and Anne L. Watson are a husband and wife writing team. Aaron is the award-winning author of many retellings of folktales and world classics for young readers. His books include The Legend of Lightning Larry and The Sea King's Daughter. Anne is a novelist. They live in Olympia, Washington. Joseph Daniel Fiedler was born and raised in the Appalachian hill country of Western Pennsylvania. He attended the Ivy School of Professional Art and Carnegie Mellon University. His work has appeared in numberous national and international publications, including Time and Business Week, and he is the recipient of a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for book illustration.
Published September 1, 1998 by Atheneum. 40 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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The fisherman, who had fallen in love with Mi Nuong at first sight, shrinks back to his humble cottage and dies, his heart having “turned hard to stop the pain.” It has also turned into a wondrous crystal that sits on the chest of his lifeless body, and the fisherman’s fellow villagers float it d...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this haunting tale of unrequited love, a mandarin's beautiful daughter hears the ""deep and sweet"" voice of an unseen fisherman as he sings, and imagines him to be a mandarin's son in disguise.

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