Wu Daozi, a real-life painter in China during the late 600s, wanted to be a painter but never fit within the box of the traditional painting school. His calligraphy lessons didn't go so well. His characters never matched those of his classmates - instead of number ones, he drew fish, horse tails, and flowers. Instead of worrying about the dishonor he would bring to his family for his lack of conformity, he goes out and does what he loves. He paints and paints and paints. He never stops.
"Every day Daozi painted to his heart's content. With one eye open, the other in a dream, he painted so much that he knew not whether the sun was up or down . . . "
He paints so much that his creations begin to take on lives of their own, leaping off the page in fantastical real life!
This is a great book for elementary school kids of all grades. It would fit well into a research unit on Ancient China or Chinese art traditions.
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