Education Opinion

Kids’ Books: ‘The Painted Wall and Other Strange Tales’

May 01, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Liao-chai, a collection of stories originally compiled by Pu Sung-ling, is the Chinese equivalent of the Grimm Brothers’ work. The Painted Wall contains 23 of the tales—most no longer than five pages—as adapted by Bedard. Many describe poor scholars struggling to make a success of their lives; all offer commentary on Chinese society within a supernatural context. In “Planting a Pear Tree,” for example, a pear seller refuses to give his fruit to a poor Taoist priest. After a bailiff, taking pity on the priest, buys him a pear, the grateful man buries a pip and a luscious tree grows. He offers the fruit to the crowd, then disappears. Only then does the fruit seller discover that his cart is empty. Other stories deal with topics such as theft, loyalty, and friendship. A few, including the title story, involve more adult themes. Overall, however, Bedard’s book offers a valuable alternative to more commonly read fairy tales and a gateway to discussions of non-Western culture.


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week