Publisher's Weekly

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zhenghe.jpgA very nice review of The Great Voyages of Zheng He by Demi was published in the October 29, 2012 issue of Publisher's Weekly. We are so pleased!

"Demi's account of 15th-century Chinese explorer Zheng He is enlivened by images of the dazzling wealth his fleet carried back to China: "Precious ambergris used for medicine, cowrie shells, sapphires, rubies, oriental topaz, and Persian carpets filled the Forbidden City." His 62 "Treasure Ships" were the largest the world had ever seen, but Zheng He also displayed a wealth of intellect and imagination that allowed him to embrace religious tolerance and open-mindedness--an attitude that might have had its source in his status as a Muslim in China. After a war in Ceylon, a statue he erected there "addressed Buddha, Shiva, and Allah, offering thanks for their compassion and moral virtue." Demi's skill as a biographer is on display, with details and context that add life and clarity. Her Persian miniature-like illustrations teach, too, showing the building of one of the fleet's ships and a portrait of Zheng He's burial at sea. It's especially valuable as a portrait of a hero whose adventures were driven not by the hunger to conquer, but by a desire simply to know and be known. Ages 8-up. (Nov.) "

Demi was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now lives in Yarrow Point, Washington. She studied art at the Institue Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico; with Sister Corita at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles; at the M.S. University in Baroda, India, while on a Fulbright scholarship; and at the China Institute for Arts in New York City. Her husband, Tze-si Jesse Huang, introduced her to the religion, folklore, ancient culture, and history of China.

Demi is the author and illustrator of more than one hundred children’s books, including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle East Book Award. Her titles have been designated American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.