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Courtesy of Penguin Books Australia.
y separately published work icon The Peasant Prince single work   picture book   children's  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 The Peasant Prince
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In a poor village in northern China, a small boy is about to be taken away from everything he's ever known. He is so afraid, but his mother urges him to follow his dreams. For soon he will become a dancer, one of the finest dancers in the world...' (Publisher's blurb)

Adaptations

y separately published work icon The Peasant Prince Eva Di Cesare , Sandra Eldridge , Tim McGarry , 2016 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2017 9452489 2016 single work drama children's

'Monkey Baa Theatre Company brings the children’s version of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer to the stage in this extraordinary production.

'Li, a 10-year old peasant boy is plucked from his village in rural China and sent to a ballet academy in the big city. He leaves everything and everyone he loves, including his family. Over years of gruelling training, this boy transforms from an impoverished peasant to a giant of the international dance scene. Li’s courage, resilience and unwavering hope for a better life makes The Peasant Prince a story to ignite our own aspirations to be the best person we can be. Audiences will be captivated by this very personal story, truly a 20th century fairy tale.' (Production summary)

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For:

AC: Years 3 and 4 (NSW Stage 2)

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Cross-curriculum Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teacher’s notes from publisher’s website.

Notes

  • A re-telling for children of Li Cunxin's Mao's Last Dancer.
  • This is affiliated with Dr Laurel Cohn's Picture Book Diet because it contains representations of food and/or food practices.

    Food depiction
    • Incidental
    Food types
    • Everyday foods
    Food practices
    • Eating in - meal
    • Food preparation
    • Food serving
    Gender
    • Food preparation - female [domestic]
    • Food serving - female
    Signage n/a
    Positive/negative value n/a
    Food as sense of place
    • Domestic
    • Historical
    Setting
    • Domestic interior
    Food as social cohesion
    • Family meals
    • Relationships
    Food as cultural identity
    • Non-Anglo characters
    • Migrant story
    Food as character identity n/a
    Food as language n/a

  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Affiliation Notes

  • This work is affiliated with the AustLit subset Asian-Australian Children's Literature and Publishing because it has an Asian setting.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Camberwell, Camberwell - Kew area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Viking , 2007 .
      person or book cover
      Courtesy of Penguin Books Australia.
      Extent: 40p.
      Description: illus.
      Reprinted: 2016
      ISBN: 9780670070541 (hbk.)

Works about this Work

What Are We Feeding Our Children When We Read Them a Book? Depictions of Mothers and Food in Contemporary Australian Picture Books Laurel Cohn , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Mothers and Food : Negotiating Foodways from Maternal Perspectives 2016; (p. 232-244)

'This chapter explores how Australian writers and illustrators in the twenty-first century depict the act of mothering in picture books for young children in relation to cooking and serving food. It draws on the idea that children’s texts can be understood as sites of cultural production and reproduction, with social conventions and ideologies embedded in their narrative representations. The analysis is based on a survey of 124 books that were shortlisted for, or won, Children’s Book Council of Australia awards between 2001 and 2013. Of the eighty-seven titles that contain food and have human or anthropomorphised characters, twenty-six (30 percent) contain textual or illustrative references to maternal figures involved in food preparation or provision. Examination of this data set reveals that there is a strong correlation between non-Anglo-Australian maternal figures and home-cooked meals, and a clear link between Anglo-Australian mothers and sugar-rich snacks. The relative paucity of depictions of ethnically unmarked mothers offering more nutritious foods is notable given the cultural expectations of mothers as caretakers of their children’s well-being. At the same time, the linking of non-Anglo-Australian mothers with home-cooked meals can be seen as a means of signifying a cultural authenticity, a closeness to the earth that is differentiated from the normalised Australian culture represented in picture books. This suggests an unintended alignment of mothers preparing and serving meals with “otherness,” which creates a distancing effect between meals that may generally be considered nutritious and the normalised self. I contend there are unexamined, and perhaps unexpected, cultural assumptions about ethnicity, motherhood, and food embedded in contemporary Australian picture books. These have the potential to inscribe a system of beliefs about gender, cultural identity, and food that contributes to readers’ understanding of the world and themselves.'

Source: Abstract.

Brave New World : Myth and Migration in Recent Asian-Australian Picture Books Wenche Ommundsen , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 3 2009; (p. 220-226)

'From Exodus to the American Dream, from Terra Nullius to the Yellow Peril to multicultural harmony, migration has provided a rich source of myth throughout human history. It engenders dreams, fears and memories in both migrant and resident populations; giving rise to hope for a new start and a bright future, feelings of exile and alienation, nostalgia for lost homelands, dreams of belonging and entitlement, fears of invasion, dispossession and cultural extinction. It has inspired artists and writers from the time of the Ancient Testament to the contemporary age of globalisation and mass migration and it has exercised the minds of politicians from Greek and Roman times to our era of detention centres and temporary visas.

This reading of Asian-Australian picture books will focus on immigrants' perception of the "new worlds" of America and Australia. The Peasant Prince, a picture-book version of Li Cunxin's best-selling autobiography Mao's Last Dancer, sets up tensions between individual ambition and belonging, illustrated by contrasts between the Chinese story "The Frog in the Well" and the Western fairy-tale of Cinderella, to which Li Cunxin's own trajectory from poor peasant boy in a Chinese village to international ballet star is explicitly related. Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing and The Arrival trace the journey from alienation to belonging by means of fantasy worlds encompassing both utopic and dystopic visions. By way of a conclusion, the paper considers the nature of myth as evoked and dramatised in these texts, contrasting the idea of myth as eternal truth with Roland Barthes' insistence that myth is a mechanism which transforms history into nature.' Source: Wenche Ommundsen.

Untitled Heather Haskett , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 22 no. 2 2008; (p. 4)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
The Children's Book Council of Australia Judges' Report 2008 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , August vol. 52 no. 3 2008; (p. 3 - 9)
Untitled Esther Van Doornum , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , Summer 2008-2009 vol. 88 no. 5 2008; (p. 24)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
Untitled Candice Cappe , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 87 no. 3 2007; (p. 42)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
Under Age Frances Atkinson , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 4 November 2007; (p. 38)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
Cover Book Review : The Peasant Prince Linnet Hunter , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , November vol. 22 no. 5 2007; (p. 14)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
With Hope and Courage Stephanie Owen Reeder , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Times , 9 December 2007; (p. 29)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book
Kids' Lit Rosemary Neill , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 29-30 December 2007; (p. 10)

— Review of The Peasant Prince Cunxin Li , 2007 single work picture book ; The Butterfly in Amber Kate Forsyth , 2007 single work children's fiction
The Principal and the Pauper Robyn Doreian , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 30 December 2007; (p. 50-51)
Great Leap Forward Rosemary Neill , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 23-24 February 2008; (p. 6)
'Lost Dog' Has Its Day 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , July vol. 88 no. 1 2008; (p. 8)
On the Road to China with Anne Spudvilas Clare Kennedy , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books for Young Adults , Autumn vol. 16 no. 1 2008; (p. 12-13)
The Children's Book Council of Australia Judges' Report 2008 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , August vol. 52 no. 3 2008; (p. 3 - 9)
Last amended 19 Nov 2018 20:42:09
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    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
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