Life of a Genius
This handsome picture book tells the story of the multi-talent Su Dongpo, an eleventh-century Chinese who rose to political prominence because of his knowledge, skills, accomplishments, wisdom, and honor. Exiled by a jealous political rival, he lived happily as a poor farmer until he was appointed secretary to the new emperor. Exiled again, he survived, but after a triumphal return to China, Su Dongpo fell ill and died. In the brief introduction, Demi notes that Su Dongpo is fondly remembered to day as a ‘statesman, philosopher, poet, painter, engineer, architect, and humanitarian who approached everything with joy and grace.’ This picture-book biography portrays Su Dongpo with quiet admiration as a virtuous man who met difficulties with uncommon dignity and presence of mind. Beautifully designed and produced, the book features delicately limned, brilliantly colored paintings of scenes from Su Dongpo’s life, outlined in scarlet and bordered with thin bands of gold. A visually striking introduction to the Chinese poet sometimes referred to as Su Shi or Su Tung-po.