Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

The Flame the Breeze and the Shadow

written and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina

Originally published in 1969 by Rand McNally & Company. Reprint edition and audio CD published by Slobodkina Foundation, 2005

SYNOPSIS: Word of the delicate beauty of a humble paper merchant’s three little daughters reached the ear of the great General Ming-Pa-Poo. The general, in spite of his wife’s disapproval, summoned the three girls to his fine home to be brought up as Perfect Young Ladies, fit to marry his three sons. One day, the girls asked to be allowed to visit their parents. Mrs. Ming, still feeling resentful, consented, but added three conditions, in the form of riddles, that seemed impossible to fulfill. She told the girls that if they failed, they would never be allowed to return home again.

The girls visit home was overshadowed by the thought that they would never be able to meet Mrs. Ming’s demands, but their father had other ideas. How he used the tools of his trade to find simple answers to the riddles makes the ending of this appealing story a happy surprise for all.

Sample of Inside Pages: