This picture-story book, Monkey Subdues the White-Bone Demon, is based on an episode from The Pilgrimage to the West, a mythological novel by Wu Cheng-en. This novel has had a wide appeal among Chinese reader since its appearance in the 16th century, and its hero, Monkey, has become one of the most lovable figures in Chinese literature. Monkey is a fearless and loyal character capable of performing supernatural feats. In defiance of the powers that be, he creates havoc in heaven, and consequently is imprisoned by Buddha under the Mountain of the Five Elements. Five hundred years later he becomes a Buddhist follower and escorts the monk Hsuan-tsang on his pilgrimage to the west to seek Buddhist scriptures. During the journey he kills demons and performs many other deeds. In the story of their encounter with the White-Bone Demon, Hsuan-tsang fails to see through the demon's disguise, and claims that even a demon can be made to mend its ways. But Monkey refuses to be taken in, and for this he is sent away by Hsuan-tsang. Only after he has saved the monk from the man-eating monster's jaws does the latter realize that people are not always what they appear to be, and that the only way to deal with a demon is resolutely to wipe it out.
Childrens-Books, Fairy-Tales-Folk-Tales-Myths, Multicultural,