The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks
published in 1995


Appropriate age:
Older Kid (age 8-11)
Reading level:
Grade 3
Genre: Fiction
Cultures: Japan, Asia Oceania
Subjects: Fairies, Fairy Tale, War


A beautiful mandarin duck is captured and caged by a greedy lord who wants to show off the bird's magnificent plumage. But the wild creature pines for his mate. When Yasuko, the kitchen maid, releases the bird against her lord's command, she and the one-eyed servant, Shozo, are sentenced to death. The grateful bird intends to return their kindness, but can he outsmart the cruel lord? Winner of the Boston Globe /Horn Book Award for Illustration, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year.