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Description

Product Description

With her magic paintbrush, Shen can paint steaming pots full of fish and oysters to feed the hungry people in her village, but when the evil emperor hears of her gift he commands Shen to paint gold for him instead. She is determined to keep her promise to paint only for the poor, but how can she match the emperor''s mighty power? Julia Donaldson''s brilliant verse combines with beautiful illustrations to bring vibrant life to a traditional tale of how a little girl''s integrity can withstand the corruption of power and greed.

About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the bestselling author of The Gruffalo, The Giants and the Joneses, The Wrong Kind of Bark, and Night Monkey, Day Monkey. Joel Stewart is the illustrator of such children''s books as The Cow Tripped Over the Moon and Have You Ever Seen a Sneep?

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
806 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not sure if we''re "supposed to" but we read this ...
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2017
Not sure if we''re "supposed to" but we read this to my daughter in a lullaby singsong voice. She murmurs after each reading, "Shen is brave" then curls up and go to sleep. Win-win for a positive message and relaxing story!!
3 people found this helpful
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Bird
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful Book
Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2018
Love, Love, Love this book. I have bought it for both of my granddaughters, as well as gifts for other little girls. The story is so sweet.
One person found this helpful
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Dana
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Heroic girl character saves the day! A+
Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2019
Beautiful illustrations. Always a fan of Julie Donaldson books.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Super
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
Beautiful book. Great story.
2 people found this helpful
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angela-
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My autistic son loves it
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018
Loved it
One person found this helpful
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Sheena Bates
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Better care needs to be taken in packing for shipment
Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2018
The book is adorable, well written and a delight to read. I was quite disappointed in the packaging. It came in a bubble mailer and the spine is all bent. Wish more care had been taken as it is for a gift.
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Ree
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lovely story!
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2018
Lovely story with a beautiful message! I enjoy reading it to my granddaughters.
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Gulnaz Mahir
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2018
Excellent book
One person found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Elizabeth Keane
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Magical and timeless
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2020
I wasn''t aware about this story from Julia Donaldson until recently and what a great story it is. Told in a poetic style with classical illustrations it''s a timeless classic. I would suggest for an older child, perhaps 6+ but really beautiful. It tells the story of Shen who...See more
I wasn''t aware about this story from Julia Donaldson until recently and what a great story it is. Told in a poetic style with classical illustrations it''s a timeless classic. I would suggest for an older child, perhaps 6+ but really beautiful. It tells the story of Shen who receives a magical paintbrush with instructions to paint for the poor as the paintings come to life. Her challenges when faced with fame and power and her ability to use her talent to change outcomes. Buy it, it''s one for your library.
7 people found this helpful
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Creigner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What a hidden gem!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2016
I chanced upon this book in the library and what a nice surprise it was. After borrowing it from the library, we had to buy our own copy for keeps! It is one of the lesser known books by Julia Donaldson. An enchanting tale told in catchy rhyming verses true to JD style,...See more
I chanced upon this book in the library and what a nice surprise it was. After borrowing it from the library, we had to buy our own copy for keeps! It is one of the lesser known books by Julia Donaldson. An enchanting tale told in catchy rhyming verses true to JD style, this story will capture the imagination of children and grown ups. The story is based on a traditional Chinese tale which has been retold many times across Asia and it is probably one of the most popular stories passed on from generation to generation. JD has stamped her distinctive rhythm into making this re-telling a very atmospheric book of how a little girl''s life changes when she is given a magic brush which turns anything she paints into real life. Complimented by beautiful water colour illustrations which brings out the purity of the underlying message, the story gently builds up to a dramatic climax. The moral of the story is intelligent and thought-provoking for everyone from age 2 to 102!
20 people found this helpful
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Denise
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Many Thanks to the Author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2014
I always intended to write to Julia Donaldson to express my gratitude for the many times I used this book as a supply teacher with young children. The story is quite simple with a moral and captivated the children I read it to. I went to China Town in Manchester and...See more
I always intended to write to Julia Donaldson to express my gratitude for the many times I used this book as a supply teacher with young children. The story is quite simple with a moral and captivated the children I read it to. I went to China Town in Manchester and purchased a real coolie hat some simple books with Chinese letter to copy. I actually painted these in black paint larger with the meaning on. Got some Chinese music to play and some fans chopsticks and one or two other items. We used to enact the story I even had some Chinese paintbrushes and just wondered if thee are available on amazon or dare one say ebay. Got them from the Works in a lovely box. Delighted to get a second copy and hope to be able to use once more as I gave up my home to travel abroad in 2010 and have now returned. Must see if can find the Chinese brushes 5 in the box and the children loved to pretend they were magic and talk about what they would paint. Maybe China town this afternoon if the rains stops.
20 people found this helpful
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Bluecashmere.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best of the best.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2013
Julia Donaldson is peerless as a writer for this age group. She has a strong instinct for material that will appeal to children, while at the same time extending their imaginative horizons. She concentrates language beautifully, combining the natural rhythms of the spoken...See more
Julia Donaldson is peerless as a writer for this age group. She has a strong instinct for material that will appeal to children, while at the same time extending their imaginative horizons. She concentrates language beautifully, combining the natural rhythms of the spoken voice - the stories are ideal for reading aloud - with a poetic quality that lifts them far from the mundane. While the youngest age group might well be most strongly drawn to "The Gruffalo", "The Magic Paint Brush" seems to me the best of all her books. It has immense charm, the most beautiful illustrations, a delightful story and the words come closest of all to the truly poetic. Amongst all the third rate and vulgar that publishers are still happy to churn out to an impressionable audience, it is heartening to discover something of such rare quality. I am unable to think of another book for early primary school children that comes close to this. As all the best children''s books it exerts its spell almost as powerfully over adults. Pure delight.
14 people found this helpful
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LastMinuteMum
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2020
Bought this for grandparents to read to the kids over Skype and it’s a lovely, calming bedtime read. Illustrations are lovely and it’s a nice spin on an old classic. Lovely gift I would think.
2 people found this helpful
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