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Demi was born in Cambridge, Mass. She studied at the Instituto Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, at Immaculate Heart College with Sisters Magdalen Mary and Sister Corita in Hollywood, California. She also studied at the M.S. University in Baroda, India, while on a Fulbright Scholarship, as well as the China Institute For Arts in New York City.
Her husband Tze-si Huang introduced her to the religion, folklore, ancient culture, and history of China.
Demi has illustrated and authored more than 300 children's books including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle
East Book Award. Her titles have been designated American Library Association Notable Children's Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.
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Titles By Demi
The Empty Pot is Demi's beloved picture book about an honest schoolboy
A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom.
The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. "Whoever can show me their best in a year's time," he proclaimed, "shall succeed me to the throne!"
Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot.
Demi's exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping's embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded.
An IRA-CBC Children's Choice.
An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists."
He has a job he hates and a boyfriend, Leon, he comes to realize isn’t the man for him. But when his grandfather goes missing, Milo has more important matters than ditching Leon.
Jonty has loved Milo for as long as he can remember, but knows he’s only seen as the brother Milo never had. However, he’s willing to settle for friendship to keep Milo in his life.
When Milo’s grandfather sends a mysterious message for help, and telling Milo to come and claim his treasure, neither he nor Jonty hesitate to answer the call. But both Milo’s father and Leon insist on coming too.
Will Milo manage to claim the greatest treasure of all, or will Leon ensure it’s lost forever?
After thirty-two centuries of lying hidden in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, King Tutankhamun’s sacred, royal tomb was discovered by a British archaeologist, and Tut’s story became known throughout the world. Demi sets King Tutankhamun’s life in the context of the religious beliefs of his ancestors.
Born to a pharaoh who had the revolutionary idea that all of Egypt must worship only one god, Tut ascended the throne and restored religious freedom to the Upper and Lower kingdoms. He allowed his subjects to worship either the one god, Aten, of his father or the many shapes and forms of the sun god, Amun, whom they had worshiped since ancient times.
Using research that includes the artifacts in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Demi shares the rich details of the king’s life, from ostrich to lion hunts, to the challenges of ruling his Kingdom. Demi’s storytelling skills and magnificent artwork, inspired by Egyptian line in paintings, architecture, sculpture, and jewelry, reveal the life of a remarkable king who has been watching us “across a span of more than 3,000 years.”
Many people say Marco Polo was the greatest explorer that ever lived, traveling 33,000 miles by land and sea from Venice, Italy, to what today is known as Beijing, China. His famous book, The Travels of Marco Polo, indicates that he was a man of extraordinary bravery, brilliance, and strength. With his uncle and father, he traveled across Turkey, Armenia, the Middle East, the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, and the hot Taklimakan Desert before finally reaching China in 1275. Welcomed by the great emperor Kublai Khan, Marco Polo was amazed by the inventions, riches, and religious tolerance of the great Khan’s kingdom, where Marco remained for the next twenty years.
Inspired by the Eastern culture of the thirteenth century, Demi created illustrations with Chinese inks and gold overlays, and used a mixture of Chinese and Indian embroidery and Italian, Arabian, and Persian designs of gold and ink on silk when creating the borders and frames.
Born in Afghanistan in the thirteenth century, Rumi settled in Turkey and became a great mystical poet. From a holy man, Shamsuddin, Rumi learned to listen for the sacred sound of God within himself. When his creative spirit was awakened, he recited more than 50,000 rhymed couplets. He also wrote about the love that resides in the soul of everyone, regardless of religion or background. He founded the order of the whirling dervishes, who believed their spinning dances put them in touch with God and brought peace and love into the world. To honor the 800th anniversary of his birth, the United Nations declared 2007 The Year of Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi.
Demi’s spectacular art, inspired by the eastern culture of the thirteenth century, was painted with Turkish and Chinese inks and gold overlays. An introductory note by Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, Ph.D., is included.
As a boy, Genghis Khan inherited the role of leader after his father’s death. As a man, he earned it—by fiercely protecting his people, no matter the cost, and by demanding total loyalty from those he led. His is a story of courage and survival, sacrifice and death. The boy who became the great Genghis Khan would take his people from the brink of survival to near-world domination—and lead the largest empire ever created in the lifetime of one man.
Based on both history and legend, Demi’s classic story takes readers into a world of battle and victory—and shows why Genghis Khan has gone down in history as the greatest conqueror of all time.
Born a prince of Macedonia in 356 BCE, Alexander the Great became one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He conquered the entire Persian Empire, defeating King Darius III four times. He invaded India, defeating a seven-foot-tall Indian king and extending the boundaries of his empire into most of Asia. Brutal in his drive for power, Alexander maintained supremacy by forcing his soldiers to marry the foreigners that they conquered. He amassed a huge fortune by plundering the riches of his enemies and married two foreign princesses, one of them King Darius III's daughter. By the time of his death at age thirty-two, Alexander had conquered most of the known ancient Greek world, a remarkable achievement in only twelve years. Demi’s storytelling skills bring Alexander the Great’s exploits to life. Her splendid illustrations were painted with Chinese inks and gold overlays and with frames inspired by jewels from the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia at Verghina. An author’s note describing Demi’s research and source material is included.
A beautiful companion to Demi's classic The Empty Pot.
In this new Chinese fable, Ping returns and deals with the selfish and greedy Tan Tan, who owns a beautiful house and a beautiful shady tree, but who does not share. Ping turns Tan Tan's greed into his own gain, but even with his new-found wealth, Ping is true to his generous nature—there is room for everyone. Simply told and beautifully illustrated, The Shady Tree is sure to become a classic.
As a young girl in a small village in France, Joan prayed daily that France would be delivered from the English and Burgundian invaders who were ravishing the country. When Joan was thirteen, she had a life-changing experience. The archangel Michael appeared in a vision and told her that she would save the kingdom of France and lead the dauphin (heir to the throne) to Reims Cathedral to be crowned king.
Calling herself the Maid of God, Joan set off to gather an army, win a number of crucial battles, and install the dauphin on the French throne. Although the king later deserted her when France’s enemies put her on trial for heresy and burned her at the stake, her bravery and faith inspired the French people and led them to victory.
Demi has drawn Joan’s battles and triumphs with exquisite detail inspired by the stained glass, architecture, painting, and sculpture of the fifteenth century.
A ForeWord Magazine 2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist
By prolific, award winning author and illustrator Demi
Filled with historical information and vivid illustrations, readers will be enthralled by Zheng He's life.
Imagine looking out to sea and watching over three hundred gargantuan ships, their flaming red sails caught in the wind, approaching your shore. What wonders of the world would be found on those ships?
Over 600 hundred years ago, Emperor Zhu Di of China decided to build the greatest naval fleet the world had ever seen to befriend and trade with countries throughout Asia and Africa. The admiral of this diplomatic and treasure-gathering fleet was a brilliant and peace-loving man named Zheng He.
Between 1405 and 1431, Zheng He led seven voyages of the treasure fleets, each bringing a message of friendship and peace between China and the other countries of the world. Through his leadership, these expeditions extended China’s influence and brought it great treasures in trade and tribute, making China the first world superpower.
In this account of Zheng He’s amazing life, award-winning author and illustrator Demi recreates the grandeur and enthusiasm of these naval voyages with her signature detailed artwork. She introduces us to this larger-than-life figure who “dreamed of a world where the best of mankind was peacefully shared and celebrated, a world of intellectual growth and religious tolerance, and a world of everlasting, worldwide peace.”
Just before dawn on Saturday the 9th of December, 1531, Juan Diego was on his way to Mass near Mexico City. He came to a hill known as Tepeyac just as day broke. He could hear the singing of many beautiful birds, but then the singing suddenly stopped. As he looked towards the top of the hill he heard someone calling his name. He was amazed to see a beautiful lady. Her clothes glimmered like the sun and her brilliance made the rocks and plants sparkle like jewels. Juan Diego bowed deeply before her, as she told him that she was Holy Mary, the Mother of God. Then she instructed him to go to the bishop in Mexico City and ask him to build a great church so that people would come to know her love, compassion, and protection. But the bishop wished for a sign. In this beautiful retelling of the story by award-winning author, Demi, find out how the miracles performed by the Virgin of Guadalupe persuaded the bishop to build the church; how they caused ten million Aztecs to convert to Catholicism within just eight years; and why the basilica dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe today receives 20 million pilgrims per year, making it the most popular Christian pilgrimage site in the world.