This is your one chance. You have your secret
dreams. Follow them! Make them come true . . . '
In a poor village in northern China, a small boy is about to be
taken away from everything he's ever known. He is so afraid, but his
mother urges him to follow his dreams. For soon he will become a
dancer, one of the finest dancers in the world . . .
So begins The Peasant Prince,, The true story of Li Cunxin's
extraordinary life. Based upon his internationally best-selling memoir,
Mao's Last Dancer, this remarkable picture book captures the
essence of one of the most inspiring stories to come from China in many
With hauntingly beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Anne
Spudvilas, Li's journey of courage and determination is simply told,
and as powerful as any fairytale.
About The Author
Li Cunxin was born in 1961, in the New Village, Li Commune, near the
city of Qingdao on the coast of north-east China. The sixth of seven
sons in a poor rural family, Li's peasant life in Chairman Mao's
communist China changed dramatically when, at the age of eleven, he was
chosen by Madame Mao's cultural advisers to become a student at the
Beijing Dance Academy. After a summer school in America, for which he
was one of only two students chosen, he defected to the West and became
a principal dancer for the Housten Ballet.
About The Illustrator
Anne Spudvilas is one of Australia's foremost picture book
illustrators and is an established artist. She divides her time between
commissioned portraits, her work as a courtroom artist, and her
award-winning illustrations for children's books.