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An impecunious boy's act of kindness to an old beggar bears a magical tree of starfruit for all the hungry Chinese villagers, except a miserly peddler who gets his comeuppance for his past stinginess. The Magical Starfruit Tree tells the story of a greedy peddler, Ah-Di, a kindhearted young boy, Ming-Ming, and an old beggar on a hot day. In spite of the heat and the old man's apparent thirst, the miserly peddler refuses to give him a juicy starfruit. Although he has little, Ming-Ming offers to buy a piece of fruit for the old man. The beggar gratefully accepts and eats the fruit, saving only one seed. Calling for someone to bring him a pot of hot water, he plants the seed. The old man uses his magic to make the seed grow, blossom, and bear fruit, all before the eyes of the bewildered crowd. In the end there is enough fruit for everyone, the peddler is chastised for his greedy ways and Ming-Ming is rewarded for his generosity. Retold and illustrated by a Chinese author and Chinese artist, The Magical Starfruit Tree is a traditional story that teaches values to children through example. It also touches on one of the main tenets of the Chinese culture, which is to honor your elders and treat them with respect. The old man uses his magic to make the seed grow, blossom, and bear fruit, all before the eyes of the bewildered crowd. In the end there is enough fruit for everyone, the peddler is chastised for his greedy ways, and Ming-Ming is rewarded for his generosity. The Magical Starfruit Tree teaches children the virtue of sharing and introduces the concept of respect for the elderly, which are corner-stones of Chinese philosophy and all-too-often overlooked in American culture.
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