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Grandfather Tang's Story
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This folktale told using ancient Chinese puzzles and watercolor illustrations has been beloved for over twenty-five years and is the perfect addition to your Father's Day reading list!

About the Author

Ann Tompert is an award-winning children's book author who has written more than 20 books, including Harry's Hats, Just a Little Bit, and Little Fox Goes to the End of the World. Prior to beginning her writing career, she was a first-grade teacher for 20 years. Tompert lives in Port Huron, Michigan, with her husband. Robert A. Parker has illustrated numerous acclaimed books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book Pop Corn and Ma Goodness by Edna Mitchell Preston, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner Cold Feet by Cynthia DeFelice, and Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, which received six starred reviews and was named a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. Mr. Parker is a jazz musician. He lives in West Cornwall, Connecticut.

Reviews

Here's a folktale with a twist: Tompert uses tangrams, a traditional ``visual aid'' employed by Chinese storytellers, to spin a tale about two shape-changing fox fairies. Seven ``tans'' (standard-sized pieces of a square) are arranged and rearranged to represent various characters in the story. The fox fairies vie to outdo each other--the first one becomes a rabbit, the other a dog who chases him, and so on--but when the two chase each other right into danger, they finally have to set their competition aside and pull together. Parker's graceful, impressionistic illustrations have a gentle Oriental flavor, and the constantly changing tangram configurations add a novel touch. A traceable tangram is provided at the end for do-it-yourselfers. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

K-Gr 4-- Two competitive fox fairies go through rapid physical transformations until a hunter's arrow reminds them of their true friendship. This original tangram tale is framed by the loving relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter as they share the story under the shade of an old tree, and culminates in a tangram of an old man and a girl likewise resting. Tangrams, ancient Chinese puzzles in which a square is cut into seven traditional pieces (each called a tan), are arranged into patterns used to help tell the story. Parker's watercolor washes complement the text, adding energy and tension, as well as evoking oriental brushwork technique. However, the text is strong enough to stand on its own, and will be valued by storytellers and listeners alike. --Carolyn Noah, Worcester Public Library, MA

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