WARRIORS tells two stories of major significance in Chinese history: the ancient and confronting story of why and for whom the Terracotta Warriors of X’ian were created plus the unbelievable one of their chance discovery 2,000 years later by farmers digging a well during a drought.
The book is aimed at primary school children. It is a blend of a fictional tale recounting the visit to X’ian by a young Australian/Chinese boy and the historical facts surrounding the Terracotta Warriors. The dual text is mainly illustrated by photos taken by Krista on her trip to China in 2007 when she researched the story.
AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN OZ KIDS’ IN PRINT MAGAZINE in August 2012
Krista shares her inspiration for WARRIORS
“How China’s Terracotta Warriors captured the imagination of author Krista Bell”
Way back in the last century, in 1974, I heard about a farmer in China who had unearthed parts of a statue while he was digging for water in his drought-stricken paddock. Local authorities soon confirmed that this was a Terracotta Warrior, made for the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, some two thousand years before.
Wow! How amazing! I was so captivated by this story that I had to know more about this incredible part of Chinese history. Of course I really wanted to travel to China to meet the Warriors in person, but back then it was very difficult for foreign tourists to get into China. So I had to wait. And wait I did, from 1974 until 2007 when my three sons were grown up and I finally had the opportunity to travel to China with my husband.
It was difficult to keep my excitement under wraps as we toured around other fascinating places in China – like experiencing bustling Beijing, China’s capital, with its ancient Forbidden City, then visiting the truly enormous Great Wall, followed by a three-night cruise on the rather yellow Yangtze River. Finally, after more than a week in China, I arrived in Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors.
Before we actually visited the Pits to see the Warriors that have already been carefully unearthed, we were treated to a delicious lunch of dumplings and hand-made noodles. All I could think about was seeing the Warriors at long last. Then I was momentarily distracted by a distinctive-looking yellow china tea pot with a blue dragon flying across it. There were tea cups to match. I love drinking Chinese tea so I bought the set and carried it home in an enormous box, a happy memory of my trip to Xi’an – and happily that tea set features in the illustrations for the book I have written, inspired by that trip to the Terracotta Warriors.
Naturally my excitement when I saw the Warriors up close was rather overwhelming. For once I was lost for words! All those years of anticipation – and then the magic of actually being with the Terracotta Warriors and horses was so inspirational that I just had to write down their story. It really is a miracle that they have survived into the 21st Century in such good condition, regardless of being buried under the earth for more than 2,000 years.
Why the Terracotta Warriors were made, and how they were discovered last century, combine to make a truly amazing story that I felt compelled to share with you. Enjoy!
WARRIORS by Krista Bell published by Windy Hollow Books in 2012
ABC Radio 'Mornings' with Ann JonesREVIEW of WARRIORS on "Mornings" on ABC Radio with Ann Jones in December 2012 in a segment entitled 'Summer Read for Children'.
WARRIORS by Krista Bell is a marvellous hybrid text - in this case a cross between fiction and non-fiction. A young Australian boy called Vincent is visiting China with his father who is wanting to show him all about his Chinese heritage. So we have the narrative of Vincent and his rather, then in a different font 'did you know?' facts about Xi'an in Central China and these are layered over photos that Krista Bell has taken on her own travels in China to help illustrate the story - sort of like a holiday scrapbook.
KIDS' BOOKS on-line magazineREVIEW of WARRIORS by Kids Book Review on-line magazine in Nov 2012
On a family holiday in China, Vincent wonders why his father has brought to Xi’an. To explain, his father shares two stories from Chinese history with his son, an intriguing story of an ancient boy-king and a just as intriguing tale of modern discovery.
In a picture book largely illustrated by photographs by the author and others, Krista Bell shares the fascinating story of the Terracotta Warriors from their formation to their discovery some 2000 years later.
The Terracotta Warriors are one of the iconic images of Chinese history familiar to people around the world. Krista Bell brings the history of these silent guardians to life with her tale of their original purpose to guard Emperor Qin into the afterlife and the story of a farmer in 1974 who stumbled upon this secret burial site when he was digging a well on his property.
A combination of story and information, this picture book is sure to delight any child with an interest in history. Even without a particular interest in history, it is a fascinating book that is likely to appeal to readers across a range of ages. It has been enjoyed by all three of my children, with ages ranging from 8 – 13, and I think it would make a fantastic resource for primary school classrooms.