Lea Goldberg thought it was very important for young readers to get to know distant civilizations and children from different countries. Her fairytale In the Land of China takes place at an unspecified time in China’s past, when reality and imagination mingled freely. Chan Soo Lin has three grown sons and a little daughter, and her father calls her Shining Flower. She is beautiful and delicate, she wears silk slippers and she loves to dance in the garden. When her father leaves home, he orders his sons to take care of their sister. But two of his sons also leave, promising to bring her pretty gifts. Only the youngest son swears to stay with his sister and keeps his word. At night, a black dragon appears, declares that he is a prince and tells the youngest brother to give him Shining Flower—or else he will die. But the lad refuses. He quickly gathers an army of ants, puts a grasshopper general at its head, and in the heroic battle that follows he defeats the dragon who leaves empty-handed. In the morning, Chan Soo Lin and the two older brothers return with gifts for Shining Flower. When they hear about the battle, they declare that in all China there is no greater hero than their younger brother. And they also remember to reward the army of ants and the grasshopper.
Illustrations: Galit Levin