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The Paper Dragon is a children's book written by Marguerite W Davol and illustrated by Robert Sabuda. It tells the story of a humble Chinese calligrapher named Mi Fei (there was an actual calligrapher with this name, although the character in the book was not explicitly modeled on him) who lives a happy life in a country village, painting pictures and talking to his fellow villagers.

Mi Fei's humble life is disturbed when a dragon awakes and begins running over fields and ruining the Mulberry trees. Mi Fei is afraid of the dragon, and can't believe that he is meant to fight it, but in the end he goes to try to talk the dragon away from destroying the people's livelihood. The dragon agrees that he will refrain from his depredations if Mi Fei does three things: puts fire, wind and the strongest thing in the world into paper. The book tells Mi Fei's innovative answers to these challenges. And finding out what "the strongest thing in the world" is rather nice.

It may seem to be rather simple if not insulting to draw both moral lessons and lessons about cultural values from a chlidrens book, but I would have to say that this book tells its moral rather nicely; and it offers a rather more succint version of the cultural values of the Chinese people then does, for example, The Scholars or the Water Margin. The "strongest thing in the world", after all, comes directly from Mencius.


I first read about this after reading the origin of Fei Fong Longs name on a website. Some Xenogears scholars hold that he was named after the historical Mi Fei

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