Thursday, June 6, 2019

Review of "The Empress and the Silkworm," by Lily Toy Hong

Review of

The Empress and the Silkworm, by Lily Toy Hong, ISBN 0807520098

Five out of five stars

 Most legends are good stories and nothing more, it is hard to create a plausible set of facts to match the tale. That is not the case with the story of the discovery of silk. The legend is that a Chinese noblewoman somehow has a silkworm cocoon fall into her tea and the liquid caused the fibers to unwind. Noting how pretty and strong the fiber was, the noblewoman realized the value. Later she had a dream that her husband was clothed in fabric made from silk.

 All of this is plausible and perhaps even likely. It is another of the stories about serendipity and accidents favoring the prepared mind in the advancement of human achievement. I first read about this legend while in elementary school and find it as fascinating now as I did when I first read it. This book would be a quality addition to elementary school libraries, both public and private.

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