Ling Li’s Lantern by Steve Heron & Benjamin Johnston (Midnight Sun, 2020)

I grew up listening to folktale type stories, very much like the story of Ling Li in Ling Li’s Lantern by Steve Heron. 

Beautifully illustrated, brimming with oriental feel in landscapes and architecture, this tale of kindness and wisdom sees three sibling sent on a quest to see who will spend money wisely, and find something to fill their pagodas. Ling Li’s brothers cleverly buy items and complete their quest, with praise from their father. 

Tee listened attentively on reading this book, I could sense his suspense when Ling Li’s kindness and compassion lead her to spend her money, and he couldn’t possibly imagine how she’d fill her pagoda. The ending impressed him so much, that he selected this book as our January picture book of the month over on Instagram.

It surprised me that he would select this book, as it is not his usual favourite type of story. It goes to show that when you buy or borrow books for your kids, it pays to try different genres!

The end papers are beautiful and lanterns scattered through the book glow warmly. The quote that sits in place of dedications reads ‘Wisdom without compassion is like a lantern without a flame.’

A truly inspiring story and a worthy book for any bookshelf!


  1. Steve Heron

    Thank you for this wonderful review. I just came across it as I was surfing the net.
    Let your kindness continue to shine.
    Steve Heron

    1. Sandhya Parappukkaran

      My pleasure. This is one of our favourite books.

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