Ling Li’s Lantern
Illustrator: Benjamin Johnston
Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing
This is an exquisite book on every level. It demonstrates the highest of production values from the perfectly proportioned cover to the truly heart-warming story expertly illuminated by expressive illustrations and enclosed within beautifully fitting endpapers.
This is a book to treasure and share across the generations for the gentle wisdom it imparts and the tactile pleasure it offers to the reader. The text is sparse yet lyrical and the sense of perspective in the illustrations, as well as the contrast between light and dark, is superbly done.
After a father gives his three children a few coins with instructions to spend them to fill an empty pagoda, they each embark on their quests. The two sons spend wisely and make sound investments but it is the youngest, Ling Li, who in filling her pagoda, also fills her father’s heart with joy and pride by demonstrating that she truly has obtained the wisdom he hoped for when he set the challenge.
In an age where compassion and kindness are sorely needed, this book is perfectly timed and its simple message inspired by the Dr Martin Luther King quote “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that” will resonate with young and old alike.