March 26, 2020

I AM HUA MULAN

I Am Hua Mulan by Qin Wenjun and Yu Rong is the tale of a brave and selfless woman named Mulan who saves her family from the devastation of war by offering to serve in her father's place.


A young girl recalls a dream she had the previous night about the legendary female warrior Mulan. Even though she was a girl, Mulan grew up riding horses, shooting a bow and arrows, and fighting with a spear like the boys around her, and as soon as she was old enough she would set out daily to take care of her home and hunt for food. When her elderly, in-poor-health father is called up to active duty, Mulan sneakily takes his place to prevent him from further harm. She risks her life by disguising herself as a man and spends twelve years proudly fighting for her country, reminding the dreaming girl that strength and pride come from within.


Rong is a highly acclaimed papercut artist, so the bulk of the illustrations are collages of patterned and solid-colored papers against a white background. There are strong color associations between the text and images, with certain words highlighted in colors that match parts of the illustrations. Rong alternates between paper-cuts (ie, blocks of colored paper) and pencil sketches when portraying people, always managing to find a way to highlight each person's unique physical attributes. 


I Am Hua Mulan published last year from Reycraft Books.


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