The Four Seasons of the Pipa

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11 songs performed by Liu Fang. Duration: 30 minutes

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Story Patrick Lacoursière Illustrations Josée Bisaillon Music Liu Fang

On a cold winter night, a young girl dreams of visiting her faraway grandfather in Kunming, a magical place in China known as the city of eternal spring. As gusts of snow blow outside her window, the gentle sound of her mother plucking the pipa in the family room wraps around her like a warm blanket. The intricately illustrated story is accompanied by 11 stirring instrumental performances by world-renowned pipa master Liu Fang. 

With roots that reach back to the Qin Dynasty, the pipa’s repertoire draws from a wellspring of ancient poetry and folklore, summoning themes of natural splendor that resonate across generations. Notes on the origin of the pipa and each composition appear at the end of the book. A free teaching guide and activity sheets are available for download.

An immersive experience for those willing to look, listen, and dream. KIRKUS REVIEWS

Vibrant, layered illustrations use multiple techniques to depict bird and flower markets, heaping bowls of noodles, and the long-awaited arrival of spring in this story about family, tradition, and the soothing power of music. FOREWORD REVIEWS

Eloquent, beautiful, memorable, unique, “The Four Seasons of the Pipa” is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library musical picture book collections for children ages 5-7. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Pub Date: 2022
Ages: 0 to 3
Keywords: China / Traditional music / Family / Seasons

Liu Fang is regarded as one of the leading pipa players in the world. Born in Kunming (China) in 1974, she started learning the pipa at the age of 6 and soon began to perform in public as a child prodigy, including a performance for the Queen of England in 1985. She graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory in 1993 and has since appeared throughout the world in several prestigious venues. She performed at the World AIDS Day presented by the BBC World Service, UNESCO’s 60th Anniversary Concert in Paris and the WOMAD festival in the United Kingdom and Spain. She has released over a dozen recordings. Her album “Silk Sound” was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque Charles-Cros in France.

Patrick Lacoursière is a producer and journalist originally from Saskatchewan. He is the author of the award-winning three-part collection Dream Songs Night Songs and The Four Seasons of the Pipa, published by The Secret Mountain.

Josée Bisaillon has illustrated more than 35 picture books, and received several awards and distinctions, including the 2017 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Her work has twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award as well.



Hardcover illustrated picture book (8” x 8”, 36 pages) with CD (30 minutes / 11 recordings) and unique digital download code.

ISBN 978-2-89836-015-2
$22.95 CAD / $16.95 USD


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