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Grandfather Tang's Story by Ann Tompert

Grandfather Tang's Story (1990)

by Ann Tompert

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Soo and her Grandfather Tang create a story using their tangram pieces. They create two characters, Chou and Wu Ling, who are best friends. They try to outdo each other all the time. They transform themselves into different animals. Grandfather Tang rearranges his tangram pieces to create the animals in the story till the very end, when Chou and Wu Ling return to their fox forms. The author provides a model for a tangram on the last page including information about the origins of the tangram.

This book could be used in a unit on shapes. The tangram uses a few shapes that are in our everyday lives. Reading this book aloud will be fun when students have their own tangram sets and can make the animals as the story is read.

Modern Fantasy
Reading Level: 3.7
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
Grandfather Tang and Little Soo are sitting under a peach tree in their backyard playing with their tangram puzzles. Little Soo is amuzed while she listens to Grandfather Tang tell a story of two foxes. Grandfather Tang rearranges the tangram pieces to represent different animals the original foxes transform into, in order to outdo and chase one another. For instance, One changes into squirrel and escapes up a tree, while the next fox changes into a hawk to swoop down and get the squirrel. They eventually meet danger, and they stop playing their game and escape from the danger together. One of the foxes gets hurt from a hunter, and his other friend fox takes him back and cares for him.

The central message of this story is for children to be careful when playing around, because they can chase themselves into danger. Another message is for children to use their imagination when telling stories. For example, when the story was describing the different characters, there was an illustration of what the tangram pieces would look like arranged as that specific animal.I really like the use of the tangram pieces, because it adds a multicultural element to the book; the tangrams described in the book are "ancient puzzles that are used in storytelling...to show the shape of a character in the tale." Parker's use of pen and water colors add an oriental element to the book, which emphasizes the Chinese background to the children reading the book.
  mkaray1 | Sep 6, 2014 |
Grandfather Tang’s Story is a picture book of Chinese storytelling with tangrams. Grandfather Tang is sharing stories with his grand daughter of foxes trying to outdo each other and turn into other animals.
  alcrumpler | Jul 12, 2014 |
This book was a story about a grandfather and his granddaughter. They use different shapes to tell stories. This story is about two foxes that are friends. They love to compete. However, they like it so much it almost ruins their friendship completely.

Personal reaction:

This book has so many simple lessons that are good for young children to learn. Even for older children this book would be beneficial.

1. This would be good to teach children over how we should be good friends to one another.
2. And go over how competition is good, but if not in the right spirit it can ruin friendships.
  kristendickerson | Mar 24, 2014 |
I really enjoyed how there were subtitles written in tangrams. I liked how the story began and ended with Little Soo and Grandfather bonding and sharing storytime. This detail made it clear that the book was telling a story within a story.
I think it can be relatable to most readers and it gives much insight to the Chinese folktale cutlture. I picked up this sense because the animals that the folkatle was about were illustrated appropriately to match the Chinese theme. For instance, the fish was drawn as a Koy fish and grandfather and Little Soo were dressed in Chinese dresses and flat shoes and black hair. Small details like these made the book culturally accurate.
My favorite aspect of this book was that the story that grandfather told related to his relationship with his grandaughter. As the reader, you don't sense this or put it all together until the last two pages. This kept my interest and since there was a purpose to the story, I thought it was a nice touch.
I think the big idea of this picture book is how closely bonded children are with their elders in the Chinese culture. There was no major lesson or theme in this story other than realizing that the grandfather and Little Soo really love and value each other. This is so humbling to read and made me reflect on my realtionship with my grandparents and how nice it is for children to have such a significant bond with them. ( )
  ngwiaz1 | Oct 10, 2013 |
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Grandfather Tang and Little Soo were sitting under a peach tree in their backyard.
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Book description
"Grandfather Tang's Story" is a great book for a read aloud with interaction. In the story, Grandfather Tang used tan grams to tell his story about two magic foxes who change themselves into different animals in competition. Grandfather Tang rearranges the tangram pieces to show the change of the animals. Along with beautiful watercolor illustrations of the animals' story, the outline of the tan gram shapes are given so that the reader or the audience can create the tan gram animals as well. I am excited about using this story in my classroom when we learn about China. I think it will be a valuable incorporation of literature into my China unit. To take it further, I will also have my students create and present their own tan gram story.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517885581, Paperback)

"Drawing on a Chinese form of storytelling with seven shapes cut from a square of paper, Tompert recounts the tale of two fox fairies. Parker's pen-and-watercolor art adds drama, while the tangram insets will motivate children to try their own versions."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Grandfather tells a story about shape-changing fox fairies who try to best each other until a hunter brings danger to both of them.

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