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The Five Chinese Brothers (1938)

by Claire Huchet Bishop

Other authors: Kurt Wiese (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,453539,639 (3.87)33
Five brothers who look just alike outwit the executioner by using their extraordinary individual qualities.
  1. 00
    The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome (raizel)
    raizel: both stories have people with unusual powers

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» See also 33 mentions

English (51)  French (2)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
An excellent story concerning 5 identical looking brothers, each endowed with a unique "power." One gets in trouble but outwits the state when a certain execution is ordered and a brother is selected to provide is own unique defense against an execution. ( )
  robertbruceferguson | May 24, 2021 |
this was one of my favorite childhood stories. Must-get-it.
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
This is a tough one because it is really dated and reflects the time it was written (1938). The story is classic folk tale of mistaken identity, magical talents, and trickery. The various ways that the brothers survive are interesting, but it's a tough book to really enjoy. The illustrations are racially insensitive and the story is quite violent in the same vein as Grimm's fairy tales. It would be an appropriate story for older audiences (maybe 8 ) but I wouldn't necessarily read it to very young children. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
The classic picture book about five clever brothers, each with a different extraordinary ability, has been in print for almost 80 years.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Aug 3, 2020 |
This is a great fairytale. There were 5 identical Chinese brothers each one with a different and unique talent. A little boy asked one of the brothers to go fishing but the boy had to promise to do exactly what the Chinese brother said. The little boy did not listen and the Chinese brother was arrested. However, the judge soon found out that the Chinese brother could not be killed but he did not know why. The judge just thought this meant he was innocent and let him go. ( )
  etranchant | Nov 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bishop, Claire Huchetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiese, KurtIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Original publication date
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Awards and honors
To my father who made me love China and To my mother a born story-teller
First words
Once apon a time there were Five Chinese Brothers and they all looked exactly alike.
We have tried to get rid of you in every way possible and somehow it cannot be done. It must be that you are innocent.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Five brothers who look just alike outwit the executioner by using their extraordinary individual qualities.

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Book description
This is the tale of five extraordinary Chinese brothers who use their gifts to save one brother's life. As the first brother is accused of murder and sentenced to death, each of his brothers take his place so that the executions cannot be carried out.
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Average: (3.87)
1 8
1.5 1
2 12
2.5 1
3 44
3.5 7
4 65
4.5 1
5 71

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