Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rabbit

Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rabbit

THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Rabbit, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2011.

Rosie was born to Mama and Papa Rabbit. Rosie had soft, hazel-colored fur and long ears. She could hear everything with them.

Rosie came from a large family. She loved to play in the grassy meadow with her siblings and cousins.

One day, they discovered a large vegetable garden tended by a woman and a child, PoPo and Jai. The rabbits dug a hole under the gate that surrounded the garden, burrowing until they reached vegetables

PoPo and Jai spotted them and chased after them. The others got away but Rosie’s ears got stuck under the gate. PoPo caught Rosie but Jai persuaded her to let him keep Rosie as a pet.

Jai filled a bed of hay in a wooden hutch in the barn and gave her lettuce to eat. Curious neighbors came to see Rosie the next day to meet her and see if the tales about rabbits were really true.

Rosie enjoyed her new friends but missed her family.

One night, Rosie’s parents came to rescue her. Papa unlocked the gate but Jai heard the commotion. He and his dog ran after Rosie, startling a tiger sleeping in the bushes.

The dog ran away when he saw the tiger chasing Jai into the woods. Rosie raced through the tunnel that led to her house and out into the forest.

Just as the tiger was about to pounce on Jai, Rosie popped out of a hole and pulled the tiger by the tail. She grabbed Jai and they ran until they found a large log to hide behind.

The tiger looked and looked for them until it spotted a pair of ears sticking up behind a log. It grabbed the ears with its claws but the ears didn’t belong to a rabbit. The ears belonged to a dragon!

The dragon didn’t like its ears being pulled and chased after the tiger with his fire-breathing tongue for mile and miles!

Rosie and Jai and their families breathed easier. From then on, Jai and Rosie became best friends.

Shadow Puppets:

Rosie, the rabbit

Jai, a boy

dog

Mamma Rabbit

Pappa Rabbit

PoPo, a woman

tiger

dragon

Act out the Year of the Rabbit for your friends and family. What animals other than a dragon and a tiger can Rosie and Jai run away from?

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

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Point Park and Downtown Pittsburgh – Summer 2016

Point Park and Downtown Pittsburgh – Summer 2016
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Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Horse

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Horse

THE YEAR OF THE HORSE

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Horse, Tales from the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2014.

Hannah, a foal, comes from a family of accomplished horses. Her mother is a show horse. Her father is a race horse. Uncle Fu is a draft horse who pulls large heavy loads and Auntie Yee is an old mare who plays with children.

Everyone wanted to see Hannah when she was born.  Tom and Lao Shi, his teacher, were painting nearby the stables and strolled over to see the new foal.

From then on, Tom and Hannah became friends.

One day, Lao Shi received a message from the Governor asking her to paint a picture for him. She realized that she was too old to travel to the capital with it.

No other animal in the village was able to take it for her. Tom got the idea that he and Hannah would deliver the painting.

Little did they foresee the adventures that lay ahead of the on the road to the capital! And they had no idea the surprise the painting held until they delivered it to the Governor!

Shadow Puppets:

Hannah, a foal

Hannah’s mother

Hannah’s father

Uncle Fu

Auntie Yee

Lao Shi, an artist and teacher

Tom, a boy and Lao Shi’s pupil

Governor

Act out The Year of the Horse. What other adventures can Hannah and Tom experience on their way to the Governor’s mansion?

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

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Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Dragon

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Dragon
Characters from the Year of the Dragon

Characters from the Year of the Dragon

YEAR OF THE DRAGON

Chin, Oliver. The Year of the Dragon, Tales of the Chinese Zodiac. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2012

In a mountainous cave, two dragons tended their first egg. Slowly, it began to crack until a baby dragon emerged. The parents named him Dominic and introduced him to the Emperor and the Empress and their court.

“Remember,” they told him, “dragons are special.”

Dragons could do things others couldn’t: play ping-pong, pick oranges and roast marshmallows.

One day, Bo invited Dominic to his swimming party. Across the river, a team of villagers were practicing for the big boat race. No one wanted to teach Dom, Bo and their friends how to row but the kind Emperor lent them his spare canoe.

The friends tipped it over on their first try. Everyone along the river watched and laughed at them.  Undaunted, Dom had an idea.

Dom turned himself into a dragon boat and the friends practiced diligently.

Finally, the day of the festival arrived. Dom and his friends were ready for the race. Dom made himself straighter than an arrow, making them faster than all the other boats except the Imperial boat. One last push and Dom and his friends surged through the Dragon Gate.

The race was close. Who won? The judges decided that Dom and his friends won by a nose!

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

Shadow Puppets:

Emperor

Empress

Dominic the dragon

Bo, a boy

friends

judges

Act out The Year of the Dragon. What other races can Dom, Bo and their friends compete and win? Do they prove that dragons are really special?

 

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Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rooster

Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Rooster
Characters from the Year of the Rooster

Characters from the Year of the Rooster

THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER

Kimmel, Eric A. The Rooster’s Antlers, A Story of the Chinese Zodiac. NY: Holiday House, 1999.

A long time ago, the Jade Emperor decided to measure time and name each of the 12 years of the Chinese Zodiac after an animal.

He would choose only the wisest, bravest, swiftest and most beautiful animals.

All the animals hoped they would be picked especially Rooster with his bright red comb, multi-colored feathers and coral antlers.

Dragon, however, wasn’t sure if he would be picked because of his baldness. Centipede cut a deal with dragon. He offered to get Rooster’s antlers so Dragon would be picked but Dragon had to promise to give him many legs and powerful jaws. Dragon agreed, grateful that he wouldn’t have to defend Centipede like he used to do.

Centipede gave Rooster a sob story about Dragon’s baldness and asked to borrow Rooster’s antlers. When Dragon finished with them, he would return them. Dragon, Centipede assured Rooster, just wanted the Emperor chose him as one of the 12 animals of the zodiac.

When Centipede brought the antlers to Dragon, Dragon strutted and in front of his mirror. He also carried out his promise to Centipede and gave him lots of legs and powerful jaws.

Jade Emperor summoned all the animals together and announced his choices to represent the Twelve Earthly Branches.  The Emperor placed the Dragon 5th on his list and placed the Rooster 10th. Rooster was crushed.

Rooster demanded his antlers back but Dragon refused, laughing at him. Next, Rooster got into a fight with Centipede. Centipede thought his new jaws and legs would defeat Rooster but he was no match for Rooster’s beak and ability to fly. Centipede crawled under a rock in fear that Rooster would hurt him.

From that day on, roosters have hated centipedes and pounce on them and eat them. Rooster continued to pine for his coral antlers, sitting on a fence, flapping his wings and crowing loudly, “Ku-ker-keru! Dragon, give me back my antlers!”

Shadow Theatre

Shadow Theater made of recycled materials

Shadow Puppets:

The Jade Emperor

Dragon

Rooster

Centipede

Act out The Year of the Rooster. What would happen if Dragon had returned the antlers to Rooster? The tale would have ended differently! Act out a different version of the story.

 

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