"The graceful book design and elegant Japanese calligraphy..."
In Japan, a farmer's son is more interested in making lanterns than cultivating rice. As his father teaches him how to plant seedlings, the boy studies dragonflies. Inspired by their beauty, he designs a splendid dragonfly lantern but loses it to a gust of wind that blows it away, starting a fire. Drawn to the fire, the Emperor admires the lad's lanterns and makes him the official lantern maker in the Imperial Palace. Set in long ago Japan, the original story follows a familiar pattern and serves as a vehicle for the beautiful scratchboard art. The graceful book design and elegant Japanese calligraphy complement the formal tone of the illustrations. An introductory note explains that dragonflies were associated with a bountiful rice harvest and the dragonfly image became one of the emblems of the Emperor.