Review: The Empress and the Silkworm Is Legend of How Silk Was Discovered

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I recently read a book called The Empress and the Silkworm, written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong.

It is a legend and legends are always cool to learn about. This one is about how silk cloth was discovered.

I think this book was informative – and surprising. I learned that the big idea to make silk happened by accident and that the Chinese people wanted to keep the discovery a secret. It was surprising that now a lot of people wear something that may have started in a teacup.

According to the book, a young empress from China was drinking tea and eating cake when… a small white thing plopped into her teacup! It was a cocoon! Then the cocoon began to unravel and she realized it was a silk string. Soon her servants started collecting more cocoons from mulberry trees so they could soak them in hot tea and unwind them into strands of silk. The empress wanted to make a robe for her husband.

I was surprised that, according to the legend, one small thing could turn into something big — in this case, clothing. (I had never seen silk cloth before so my Mom showed me a robe she has that was made in China out of 100% silk.)

This book might be interesting to people who like legends or or anyone who wants to learn more about how the tradition of wearing silk in China got started.

I give it 2/4 roses.

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