This book is based on a nineteenth century Korean story, with an unknown author. In some ways, its a classic moral tale. Aesop could come up with a pithy summary, I’m sure. But that doesn’t make the illustrations any less fun!
The slightly-less-than-pithy summary goes like this: Lady Hahn is a seamstress, and her seven friends are her sewing tools – scissors, needle, thread, and the rest of her supplies. One day, the tools begin arguing about which of them is the most important. (Why yes, this does sound like the disciples.) Not surprisingly, Lady Hahn gets annoyed and tells them that SHE is the most important, and shoves them in a box. The friends start to think of the ways they are treated poorly and run away. Everyone realizes in the end that they are all important and play their own roles in sewing and creating. Like I said – its sort of a neat and tidy moral tale.
And yet, this same point is made All. Over. the Bible, especially in the New Testament. More than one of the Gospels records Jesus telling the disicples not to lord their authority over others, that the last shall be first, and they must serve one another. Paul uses the metaphor of “many parts, one body” in multiple letters. The lesson of many gifts working together without arrogance seems to be an important one all over the world and in all times. And this version has pretty silk shirts.