Journey to the West, considered one of China’s greatest classical novels, has been retold countless times, including as a segment in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese (2006). This more straightforward adaptation has an even younger target audience. Born from a rock perched atop Spring Mountain, Handsome Monkey King enjoys life so much that he wishes it would never end. Traveling east in search of the secret to immortality, he becomes a disciple of Master Puti, who teaches him not only that secret but the secret to 72 transformations and how to travel by cloud. Now called Sun Wu Kong, the Monkey King returns to Spring Mountain and begins forming alliances with the surrounding kingdoms, eventually becoming strong enough to take on the Jade Emperor himself. Written and illustrated as a heroic action story, all the humor and drama have been left in, making this as engaging for readers of history and folklore as it is for fans of wisecracks and fighting. Includes an introduction and appendix, making the story even easier to follow for readers unfamiliar with the original tale.
- Eva Volin, Booklist, October 15th, 2012