Cover image for The magic paintbrush
Title:
The magic paintbrush
Author:
Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Physical Description:
89 pages ; illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
A magic paintbrush transports Steve and his elderly caretakers from their drab apartment in Chinatown to a world of adventures.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
440 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.8 2.0 35634.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 5 Quiz: 21802 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060281991

9780060282004
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

When Steve grasped the painting, it tigled aainst his fingertips. He felt as if he had rubbed his shoes fast over a carpet. And the tingling spread through his whole hand. "What's going on?" he asked, scared.

From the momen Grandfather gives Steve a magic paintbrush that grants wishes, life in Chinatown will "never be the same.

Steve can scarcely believe it.  With his new paintbrush, everything he paints becomes real. Now he, Grandfather, and Uncle Fong can wish for anything their hearts desire. Steve's painting sends Uncle Fong back in time to the village of his childhood. Grandfather meets the legendary Lady on the Moon. Steve wonders if the magic paintbrush can bring his parents back. But when their greedy landlord, Mr. Pang, tries to use the magic paintbrush to make his wish come true, the three realize the paintbrush has its own agenda. Laurence Yep once again expertly weaves the spirit of magic and a contemporary San Francisco Chinatown setting in a whimsical novel that explores how the power of memory and love help alleviate loss.

Steve can scarcely believe it.  With his new paintbrush, everything he paints becomes real. Now he, Grandfather, and Uncle Fong can wish for anything their hearts desire. Steve's painting sends Uncle Fong back in time to the village of his childhood. Grandfather meets the legendary Lady on the Moon. Steve wonders if the magic paintbrush can bring his parents back. But when their greedy landlord, Mr. Pang, tr


Author Notes

Laurence Yep was born in San Francisco, California on June 14, 1948. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1970 and received a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He primarily writes fiction for young adults, but has also written and edited several works for adults. His first novel, Sweetwater, was published in 1973. His other books include Dragonwings, Dragon's Gate, Shadow Lord, Child of the Owl, The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Newbery Medal Honor Book, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. As he did in The Imp That Ate My Homework (1998), Yep combines realistic fiction and fantasy in a story involving a young Chinese American boy growing up in San Francisco. Orphaned third-grader Steve lives with his grandfather in a one-room Chinatown tenement. There's little money for food or extras, and the boy is convinced that his grandfather resents his very presence. When Steve's school paintbrush wears out, Grandfather offers him an old one of his, and, suddenly, everything Steve paints becomes real. Quickly, life becomes easier, and with the necessities under control, Steve and his grandfather find time to gain a better understanding of their complex relationship. This story is more somber than Imp, but the two books have much in common: an appreciation of traditional Chinese customs and values, a sure sense of the difficulties of living in two cultures, and the struggle to understand an inscrutable grandfather. This should be popular with young artists and Yep fans. --Kay Weisman


Publisher's Weekly Review

The setting for this appealing contemporary tale is San Francisco's Chinatown, the same as for Yep's simultaneously released Cockroach Cooties (reviewed Feb. 14), but here Yep mixes in elements of fantasy and fairy tale, as in his The Imp Who Ate My Homework. After his parents are killed in a fire, eight-year-old Steve experiences cultural and generational shock when he goes to live with his immigrant grandfather and Uncle Fong in a Chinatown tenement. Convinced that the stern, disapproving old men don't want him, his grief and misery are compounded by shame when he's penalized at school for not buying a new paintbrush--which his penurious grandfather can ill afford. The rapprochement begins when Steve's grandfather gives him a family heirloom, a paintbrush said to be made with the hairs from a unicorn's tale. Suddenly, whatever the boy paints springs to life, from a steak to the Chinatown moon of legends, transforming their dreary life. "Chinatowners are made, not born," insists his grandfather, who, with Uncle Fong's help, uses the new vistas that the paintbrush reveals as an opportunity to teach his grandson the lore of his ancestral homeland. As always, Yep's crisp style keeps the pages turning, and he leavens his story with snappy dialogue, realistic characters and plenty of wise humor. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Steve is a recently orphaned third grader who has been uprooted from a middle-class suburban lifestyle to live with his grandfather and his roommate, Uncle Fong, in a tenement in San Francisco's Chinatown. The lonely boy mistakes his grandfather's brusque nature for dislike and resentment. However, when Steve fails an art assignment because of a worn-out brush, his grandfather surprises him with a long-treasured magic paintbrush and the fantasy begins. Any picture the boy paints with the enchanted brush becomes real. As windows are painted on the walls of their apartment, they travel through them to the China of the old men's youth. Steve learns about his grandfather's past, about Chinese legends, and about life as a "Chinatowner." He discovers that his relative does indeed care about him, and that even though magic is enticing and exciting, its power should be used judiciously because, like nature, it cannot be controlled. Humor is evident when a greedy slumlord abuses the magic and is sufficiently humbled. Through simple yet sensitive dialogue, the author weaves a tale of alienation turning into affection, and of good prevailing over meanness. Wang's black-and-white drawings appear in every chapter and expertly capture the mood of the story.-Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Failurep. 1
Grandfather's Suitcasep. 9
The Magic Paintbrushp. 15
Heart's Desirep. 22
Home Cookingp. 29
The Radiop. 36
The Lady on the Moonp. 46
Mighty Mister Pangp. 54
The Life of Luxuryp. 59
The Rescuep. 71
Dancing on the Moonp. 81