Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Who Guards My Sleep? by Marie Chow, illustrated by Sija Hong

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Who Guards My Sleep? by Marie Chow, illustrated by Sija Hong. Marvel, 2021. 9781368069960

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Fantasy/movie tie-in

What did you like about the book? A young mother tells stories from Chinese folklore at bedtime to her young children, one of whom is a young Shang-Chi, the hero of a new Marvel movie. She tells them about her home village of Ta Lo, a magical place that is one of Chinese legend’s highest heavens. She conjures the guardians of this mystical place – the twin lions, shapeshifting animals, unicorns and more, including a six legged headless, faceless, winged, furry creature named Morris. I am assuming that Morris is not a creature from Chinese legend!

Mesmerizing and mystical, the art wonderfully translates the legendary creatures of Ta Lo. Brief descriptions of the creatures are part of the narrative, as are Chinese characters with the pinyin names. The story ends with the phrase “Not quite…/Not quite,” in response to Shang-Chi’s enthusiastic declaration that his mother’s village had everything. What is missing? I guess one has to see the movie to find out. I was prepared to dismiss the book as a sub-par movie tie-in, but the lyrical language and lovely art drew me in.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The movie on which this picture book is based is rated PG-13, so it’s up to those reading the book aloud to fill kids in about Morris since it’s unlikely they have seen it.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 3-5, especially those who love Chinese legends and imaginary creatures.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries where media tie-ins are collected

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: December 29, 2021

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, Legend, Marie Chow, Mythology, Sija Hong and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.