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The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West (Ancient Fantasy) [Paperback]

Aaron Shepard
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 4.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2008 Ancient Fantasy (Book 4)

If you think Superman or Spiderman has been around a long time, think about Monkey. He has been China's favorite superhero for at least five centuries. He's amazingly strong, he can fly, and he has a few tricks those other superheroes never heard of. And he's always ready to do battle with demons, dragons -- sometimes even the gods.

Monkey stars in The Journey to the West, an epic comic fantasy from the sixteenth century. The part retold here is about Monkey's origin and early career -- and the one time he didn't come out on top.

For ages 10 and up. Not illustrated!

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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Monkey King," 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. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.

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SAMPLE

"Here I am, only four hundred years old," said the Monkey King, "and I've already reached the heights of greatness. What is left to hope and strive for? What can be higher than a king?"

"Your Majesty," said the gibbon carefully, "we have ever been grateful for that time four centuries ago when you hatched from the stone, wandered into our midst, and found for us this hidden cave behind the waterfall. We made you our king as the greatest honor we could bestow. Still, I must tell you that kings are not the highest of beings."

"They're not?" said the Monkey King.

"No, Your Majesty. Above them are gods, who dwell in Heaven and govern Earth. Then there are Immortals, who have gained great powers and live forever. And finally there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who have conquered illusion and escaped rebirth."

"Wonderful!" cried the Monkey King. "Maybe I can become all three!" He considered a moment, then said, "I think I'll start with the Immortals. I'll search the earth till I've found one, then learn to become one myself!"

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THE ANCIENT FANTASY SERIES BY AARON SHEPARD

#1 ~ THE MOUNTAIN OF MARVELS: A Celtic Tale of Magic, Retold from The Mabinogion. The story of the magical lady Rhiannon, the king who loved her, and the magician who hated and aimed to destroy them.

#2 ~ THE SONGS OF POWER: A Finnish Tale of Magic, Retold from the Kalevala. In a story born in the time of shamans, two magical heroes vie for the hand of a maiden and wind up battling her mother, whose powers rival their own.

#3 ~ THE MAGIC FLYSWATTER: A Superhero Tale of Africa, Retold from the Mwindo Epic. Mwindo's father, the chief, never wanted a son and tries to get rid of him -- but Mwindo has other ideas, as well as the powers to make them happen.

#4 ~ THE MONKEY KING: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West. From a comic epic about one of the most popular characters of all time. When Monkey decides he wants to become a god, Heaven had better watch out!


Frequently Bought Together

The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West (Ancient Fantasy) + The Monkey King (Usborne Young Reading: Series One) + The Magic Paintbrush
Price For All Three: 14.23

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhook Press (1 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938497413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938497417
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 642,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books, as well as books on reader's theater, children's writing, and publishing. He lives with his wife and fellow author, Anne L. Watson, in Friday Harbor, Washington, USA.

Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Here I am, only four hundred years old," said the Monkey King, "and I've already reached the heights of greatness. What is left to hope and strive for? What can be higher than a king?"

"Your Majesty," said the gibbon carefully, "we have ever been grateful for that time four centuries ago when you hatched from the stone, wandered into our midst, and found for us this hidden cave behind the waterfall. We made you our king as the greatest honor we could bestow. Still, I must tell you that kings are not the highest of beings."

"They're not?" said the Monkey King.

"No, Your Majesty. Above them are gods, who dwell in Heaven and govern Earth. Then there are Immortals, who have gained great powers and live forever. And finally there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who have conquered illusion and escaped rebirth."

"Wonderful!" cried the Monkey King. "Maybe I can become all three!" He considered a moment, then said, "I think I'll start with the Immortals. I'll search the earth till I've found one, then learn to become one myself!" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at it's finest. 19 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this to read with my five year old boy and was slightly worried at how well a text only book would interest him, as all previous books have been the typical young child variety with lots of pictures. I am amazed at how focused he remained as we read a chapter (sometimes 2) per night. Of course I think it helps if you've seen the TV show and are willing to try and mimic King Monkey's voice at the risk of feeling a bit silly ;)

It was a lot thinner than I expected when it arrived but that's because there's very little "fluff" or bloat in the text of this version with just about everything that happens being interesting, or exciting, and I could tell it was food for his imagination. Great stuff. Of course now I've had to order the tv show box set as he wants to watch that and see Monkey in action! :)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read For All 10 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
This is a story about a monkey born from a magic boulder, that was bathed in the energies of Earth and Heaven, quickened by the light of Sun and Moon.

He became known as the Monkey King when he wandered into the midst of other monkey's and found them a safe home in a cave behind a waterfall. The other monkeys made him their King, which is the highest honor they could bestow on him.

It was on the Monkey Kings four hundred birthday that he sat complaining that he had reached the heights of greatness. "What is left to hope and strive for he asked?" The Monkey King was told above them were Gods, who dwell in Heaven and Earth. Then there are the Immortals, who have gained great power and live forever. And finally there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who have conquered illusion and escaped rebirth.

That information was enough for the Monkey King to set off on his own course to become not just a God, or Immortals, but to also become a Buddhas. He wanted it all.

The Monkey King studied hard for years, but always managed to find himself in trouble. In the end he finds himself trapped and pinned between stones. His head and arms were out, but the rest of his body was hopelessly trapped.

What trouble could he get into you may ask? Was he pinned forever? I can only say you must read this book for yourself to find the answers.

Monkey is the most popular figure in all Chinese literature, loved for centuries by young people and adults alike. He is a superhero figure who is cherished even today.

Excellent read for all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice 7 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the 'back story' of the monkey king, how he came to be the super hero of all his escapades. How would humanity survive without their superheros - barely, I suspect.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading this 11 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a fan of the television series Monkey & I read this to help my children get to sleep. It flowed well but is a little short!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Introduction 7 Jan 2014
By gerald
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is a good introduction to the story of monkey and leaves you feeling a of wanting to know more of the story
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but short... 10 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good version of the ancient story but it is very short. I guess it is a children's version...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good tail! 24 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this free download.

I have found the text easy to read about this old Chinese tale. I remember the TV series of the 80s. I was looking for Oxford Reader type books to share with Spanish teenagers who wish to read in English. I think will fit the bill.

PS:There is not a spelling mistake in the title, just a play on words, lol.
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