The Rock Maiden, by Natasha Yim, for Multicultural Children's Book Day

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day! Part of this celebration is for bloggers and publishers/authors to pair up, with the reviews becoming part of a beautiful explosion of links.

I was lucky enough to get two books from Wisdom Tales.  The first is a lovely picture book, The Rock Maiden: a Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty, by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Pirkko Vainio (March, 2017).

Long ago in Hong Kong, Ling Yee feel in love with a young fisherman, Ching Yin.  Many more wealthy men would have gladly married her, but Ching Yin's kindness won her heart.  And they were happy, and had a son.  Then a tremendous storm scattered the fishing fleet, and when it passed, Ching Yin did not come home. Every day Ling Yee took her baby up to the headland and looked out over the sea, waiting for her beloved in vain.

Ling Yee's parents prayed to Tin Hau, the patron goddess of fishermen, for help.  The goddess was touched by the young woman's sorrow, and decided to end it (rather drastically). She sent a lightning bolt from the heavens, and turned mother and child to stone.  But about a year later, a young man came to town.  No one recognized him at first, but he was Ching Yin.  Happily, Tin Hau once more intervened, undoing the stone enchantment, and reuniting the little family.

It is a beautiful and haunting story, with lovely, evocative illustrations in soft colors.  The tension of the story is great enough to keep a young child's interest, and the happy ending offers reassurance.  The stone mother and child, standing looking out to sea, is an image that will stay with young readers for their whole lives.  If you are looking for picture books that will widen your young child's world, this is a lovely one!

When Natasha Yim was a girl growing up in Hong Kong,she was fascinated by the actual rock that is the basis for the story.  Amah Rock is a natural formation that looks like a mother and child, and though of course (since it is still there) the happy ending of the book never happened in real life, that story seemed to sad to her, so she transformed it.

Thank you Wisdom Tales, and thanks to all the sponsors of WNDB and to the organizers and hosts for another tremendous event!


  1. What a beautiful story and a lovely event! I am checking out Wisdom Tales now.

  2. Thank you so much for these reviews. I wasn't familiar with these books. I'll also be checking out Wisdom Tales!


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