Why Snails Have Shells: Minority and Han Folktales from China
The twenty stories that comprise this collection reflect some of the ethnic diversity of China. Through a cast of familiar animals we get a glimpse of the cultures from which the stories emanate, and we see that the world is interconnected and the planet quite small. The tales show that our similarities are much greater than our differences. Besides their literary value, these tales convey moral instruction.
The second part of the book gives background information about the nationalities from which the tales have been selected. Carolyn Han describes the geographical area each group occupies and its social life and customs.
Each tale is enhanced with an illustration by Li Ji, an artist and lecturer at Yunnan Art Institute of Kunming, China. He brings to this volume his first-hand knowledge of minority peoples and a deep understanding and love for animals and the environment.
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