The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty
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The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty

  • written by: Natasha Yim

  • illustrated by: Pirkko Vainio

  • Juvenile Fiction / Legends, Myths, Fables / Asian






Date Available:

Available now


4 and up


8″ x 10″

Page Count:


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When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home—only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded? Find out in this re-envisioning of an old Hong Kong legend by award-winning author Natasha Yim, featuring stunning illustrations by renowned Finnish artist Pirkko Vainio.

The author, Natasha Yim, is an American Chinese author of fiction and non-fiction works for children and young adults. Born in Malaysia, she grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong, where she was captivated by the old Chinese legends she heard as a child. She is the author of Otto’s Rainy Day (a Kids’ Pick of the Lists selection), Cixi: The Dragon Empress, and Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (a 2014 Junior Library Guild selection and 2015 Scholastic Book Club selection). Natasha lives in Ukiah, California, with her husband and three children.

Illustrator Pirkko Vainio was born in Finland and studied at the Academy of Art in Helsinki. She has written and illustrated over thirty children’s books, which have been translated into fifteen languages. Among her books are The Dream House (winner of Frankfurt’s Prix Octagonale Graphique), The Snow Goose (winner of the Picture Book Prize, Finland), and the Hans Christian Andersen tales The Nightingale and The Ugly Duckling. Pirkko’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the world, while the Finnish Broadcasting Company has made two documentaries on her life and work. She resides in Jämsä, Finland.


  • Gold Medal in the 2018 Midwest Book Awards in the category “Interior Design”
  • Finalist in the “Best Interior Design” category of the 2018 Best Book Awards


  • “… Natasha Yim returns with an endearing and elegant story in The Rock Maiden. Intrigued by the Amah Rock in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, Yim succeeds in transferring a sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of such a striking natural formation. She retells an ancient Chinese legend in an age appropriate manner, updates the ending, and presents a beautifully touching image of love and loyalty, thus making the book’s title exceptionally accurate.… This is a sweet story with a well-presented happy ending. The story matches perfectly with the dreamy and authentically appealing illustrations of award-winning Finnish artist Pirkko Vainio, making The Rock Maiden a charming and very satisfying read.”

    – New York Journal of Books

  • “Quietly compelling, The Rock Maiden, Natasha Yim’s interpretation of the classic Chinese legend of the Amah Rock, inspired by the granite formation found in the hills of Sha Tin, Hong Kong, celebrates family, faithfulness, and devotion in the captivating love story of Ling Yee and her fisherman, Ching Yin. Soft and tranquil, the illustrations from Pirkko Vainio showcase the beauty of the old Chinese landscapes, customs, and people even as Ching Yin, aboard his wooden sampan, is lost at sea.”

    – ForeWord Reviews

  • “Softly toned watercolors illustrate the sad story-turned-happy with grays and blues, modulating to warm yellow, orange, and red tones in the joyful moments. Deftly written … a pleasing romantic story.”

    – Kirkus Reviews

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