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The Bell Maiden

Connie is flying to Beijing with her father, Israel’s next ambassador to China. But China seems so strange and far away, she’s scared that her friends in Israel will forget her. To distract her, her father gives her a little Chinese gong, and it tells her a magical story inspired by an ancient Chinese folk-tale.

Kuan-Yu is the most famous gong maker in China. The secret of sound was handed down to him by an ancestor who had saved a nightingale from captivity, and his young daughter Qong-Gey assists him in the workshop. When Kuan-Yu’s fame reaches the Imperial palace, the Empress is terribly jealous and she hatches a plot against him: she gets the Emperor to order Kuan-Yu to cast a gong with the most beautiful sound ever heard. If he fails, he will be executed. The gong maker blends copper, silver and gold, but his first two attempts are a failure. So Qong-Gey seeks advice from the Goddess of Fire — the goddess tells her that the gong will only ring if human blood is added to the mix. As the gong maker prepares to cast the precious metals for his third attempt, Qong-Gey jumps into the blazing furnace and the perfect sound floats out. But Connie can’t accept this sad ending: she intervenes and changes it, bringing Qong-Gey back to life. And so, the little Israeli girl rescues the Chinese girl!

An enchanting and moving story that brings two cultures together.

Title The Bell Maiden
Writer's Last Name Semel
Writer's First Name Nava
Genre Children
Ages 8-11
Illustrations Zagny Ormut-Durbin
Publisher (Hebrew) Dani Sfarim
No. Pages 78pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Yaldat Ha-Pa'amon
  • “An utterly gorgeous book, full of inspiration and imagination - of all that brings people together. ”

    Prof. Nurit Govrin
  • “A book for all age groups, marvelous, magical, exciting and inspiring. The illustrations are dizzyingly beautiful. Pure pleasure.”

    Author Yochi Brandes
  • “A beautiful book. I was enthralled, and I read it with excitement and admiration. Perfection of both content and form, complete utilization of the beauty and wisdom of a literary work. A book extremely rich in the content that it conveys, and so heart-warming in the feelings that it arouses. Absolute beauty. ”

    Author Dorit Orgad
  • “A wonderful author. In her writing, a refined charm mixed with great love is always prevalent, captivating the heart of the reader. How lovely, how highly recommendable. Run out and buy it. ”