The evil enchantress Su-ling had a sister, Ya-Mei, the good enchantress. For 200 years, Su-ling had kept Ya-Mei imprisoned in the body of a caged rabbit. Freed when the Emperor destroyed her evil sister, Ya-Mei is very grateful. Many years before her death, Su-ling had placed a curse on the kingdom that, upon her demise, would trigger the unleashing of a swarm of highly destructive, magically enhanced stink bugs on their crops, threatening their food supply and very survival. When the curse is enacted, Ya-Mei, seeing the desperate situation, grants Ru-lan power over insects. This power helps the young prince save the kingdom from starvation. In victory, Ru-lan shows compassion for his enemies, teaching everyone a lesson. He also meets the young, talented, precocious Cai Hua, his future wife. The Attack of the Giant Stink Bugs subtly teaches values, while introducing the reader to interesting aspects of Chinese culture.
About the Author
Larry Bennett and his wife Dorothy adopted a baby from China in 2004, Olivia Cai Hua. With the help of her Chinese babysitter, she was raised bilingually, maintaining ties with the culture of her birth country. The books in the Ru-lan series stemmed from stories that Laurence would tell Cai Hua when she was young.
Basia Tov has been making art, one way or another, throughout her life. Her interest in illustrating and writing children's books has developed from the time her son and daughter were born. Besides her Fine Art degree, Basia holds a Master's in Early Childhood Special and General Education. Currently, she lives in New York City, where she teaches in an elementary school, pursues her art career, creates children's books, and spends every spare minute with her family.