Cover image for The Khan's daughter : a Mongolian folktale
The Khan's daughter : a Mongolian folktale
Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, [1997]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
In this retelling of a Mongolian folktale a simple shepherd must pass three tests in order to marry the Khan's beautiful daughter.
Reading Level:
670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.9 0.5 28481.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR336.M66 Y46 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GR336.M66 Y46 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
GR336.M66 Y46 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In this retelling of a Mongolian folktale a simple shepherd must pass three tests in order to marry the Khan's beautiful daughter.

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

Ages 5^-8. Yep begins this retelling of a Mongolian folktale by introducing M\x9a ngke, a confident, likable young shepherd who believes that his destiny includes both marriage to the khan's daughter and the ability to meet every challenge placed before him. Although he bests some tremendous opponents, his most difficult match proves to be the khan's daughter herself. Yep's strong folkloric narrative is amplified by splendid watercolor illustrations: some children will like the liveliness of the horses; others will relish the gruesome demon spirits, pore over the battle scenes, or enjoy the finely detailed costumes. With engaging human characters, frightful monsters, dramatic tension within a warrior-based society, powerful illustrations, and plenty of action, this is the sort of book that will appeal to diverse ages and sensibilities. A wonderful choice. --Karen Morgan

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this humorous folktale, a cocky peasant, Möngke, sets out to win the hand of the Khan's daughter, and is given the requisite series of trials to prove his worth. He prevails, but not because he is particularly clever or brave. The Khan's daughter, Borta, is not looking for a hero anyway: she is perfectly happy with a guy who caves in at the first sign of danger. Yep's colloquial retelling‘at one point a doubting Möngke takes a snack break on his way to slay some demons "since food always cheered him up"‘suits the unassuming tale. The brisk pace risks being cursory, but the prose is assured; in the peasant's first glimpse, the city of domed tents resembles "so many buttons sewn onto a giant sheet of brown felt." While the casual tone updates an old tale, the animated watercolors of the Tsengs, who have collaborated with Yep before (The Ghost Fox; The Boy Who Swallowed Snakes), establish the Mongolian setting. Their work hinting strongly at the influence of Chinese narrative painting, they adroitly portray the sumptuous dress of the Khan's court and the contrastingly plain landscapes. This story embraces human foibles with both the ageless charm of a traditional tale and the informal breeziness of a modern sensibility. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3‘In order to fulfill a prophecy and win the hand of the Khan's daughter in marriage, Möngke, a shepherd, must succeed in three trials. His mother-in-law-to-be sets the first two. To prove his strength, he must steal the wealth of seven demons. To demonstrate his bravery, he must vanquish the enemy. The third trial, however, is imposed by the Khan's daughter herself, after which a humbled but determined Möngke does indeed become a wise and beloved husband. While this retelling of a Mongolian folktale adheres to the predictable and traditional quest motif, Yep succeeds in endowing his characters with multidimensional personalities. Möngke is brave, foolish, boastful, then finally contrite. Women are not simply trophies but actively determine their destiny. The well-paced story effortlessly balances humor and adventure, fantasy and reality, and is wonderfully enhanced by the artwork. From their ravishing cover with its acrylic portrait of the Khan's daughter (and a dashing but much smaller Möngke) superimposed on luminous gold leaf, through the gold-framed watercolors that add a wealth of detail and atmosphere, the Tsengs once again capture a faraway place and time and make it eminently accessible to children‘just as they did in Margaret Mahy's The Seven Chinese Brothers (Scholastic, 1990). As a sprightly read-aloud or an opportunity for independent readers to lose themselves in an unfamiliar and fascinating culture, this is a solid addition to folklore collections.‘Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.