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Confucius: The Golden Rule
Children's Literature with Dr. Vardell

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Confucius: The Golden RuleHere is my review of a nonfiction book by Russell Freedman...

Freedman, Russell. 2002. CONFUCIUS: THE GOLDEN RULE. Illus. by Frederic Clement. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0-439-13957-0

 

Scholastic. 2003. RUSSELL FREEDMAN'S BIOGRAPHY. Available from:

 http://www2.scholastic.com/teachers/authorsandbooks/authorstudies/authorhome.jhtml;schsessionid=UPJGUQUNTZINSCQVAKOCFFIKCUBKQIV4?authorID=2146&collateralID=10838 . Accessed 31 June 03.

 

 

Confucius: The Golden Rule is an outstanding nonfiction book with impressive, intensive research. It is a 2003 Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Winning awards is nothing new for the author, Mr. Russell Freedman. He has also won a Newbery Medal, two Newbery Honor awards and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal. The renowned author is well respected for his biographies, making one trust the accuracy of the information that he shares without question. The authors use of interesting anecdotes from Confucius's followers adds zest to this informational book.

 

Mr. Freedman traveled to the Chinese city of Qufu to study this ancient philosopher, the topic of this book. He went to the place that is said to be the cave where Conficuis was born and he visited his grave site. With this hands-on experience he was able to write this book with vision, including little known facts about the man. In a clear and uncluttered manner the author has laid down the facts and the myths that swirl up around this ancient philosopher. One feels they have a better understanding of who this man really was and what it is that he taught. All misconceptions of the man are squelched. All that is left is a burning intrigue for the person that Confucius was and his philosophy that still persists thousands of years after his death.

 

The illustrations, done by Frederic Clement, are gorgeously done. The design and artful appearance of the book are done with an Asian gracefulness. The ancient hues of brown and tan trimmed with tasteful orange and teal, typical of Asian art, lend themselves well to the feel of the book. At the end of the book there is an Authors Note and information on finding materials for additional reading. The text is peppered with quotes from Confucius and sayings from his analects. Here are two from the book:

 

When you meet a worthy person, seek to become his equal. When you meet a fool, look within and examine yourself.

And

An exemplary person should be slow to speak and quick to act.

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