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Su Dongpo: Chinese Genius

Written and illustrated by Demi


As a little seed one day will
become a great tree, as a flowing river
can carve a mighty rock...
One day the work you do will show too!

Even as a young boy in eleventh-century China, Su Shih was clearly special. After finding a rare inkstone, he began to write stories and verses expressing his love of the natural world. His words flowed effortlessly. His brush danced across the paper.

Su Shih grew up to become a leading scholar and statesman, eventually taking the name Su Dongpo. Integrating his love of natural order and humanity into his writings and civic works, Su Dongpo promoted justice and condemned corruption — often at his own peril. His life was rife with reversals of fortune; but through it all he retained his grace, his humility, and his compassion.

Award-winning author and artist Demi has created a graceful tribute to one of history's most accomplished yet overlooked figures. Su Dongpo's life truly transcends the ages and is a shining example of dignity, ingenuity, courage and resilience.

Booktalk with author and illustrator Demi

A Character Analysis with Bloom's Taxonomy, Using Su Dongpo: Chinese Genius

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Original Art Show
Society of Illustrators

Original Art Traveling Exhibition
Society of Illustrators

ALA Notable Children's Book
American Library Association (ALA)

Children's Books of the Year
Outstanding Merit
Bank Street College Children's Book Committee

Interest Level
Grades 2 - 8
Reading Level
Grade 4
Asian/Asian American Interest, Biography, Historical Interest, Poetry, Religion/Spiritual, Nonfiction
About the Creators

Demi is the author and illustrator of more than one hundred books for children. Her works have received numerous awards and accolades, among them ALA Notable Children's Books, The New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, the Middle East Book Award, and the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world. Demi has traveled extensively and studied art in Mexico, India and China. She holds a special place in her heart for Chinese culture and counts Su Dongpo among her heroes. She lives with her husband in Carnation, Washington.

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