Cover image for Henry and the kite dragon
Henry and the kite dragon
Hall, Bruce Edward.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
In New York City in the 1920s, the children from Chinatown go after the children from Little Italy for throwing rocks at the beautiful kites Grandfather Chin makes, not realizing that they have a reason for doing so.
Reading Level:
AD 810 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 79505.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.8 3 Quiz: 37259 Guided reading level: R.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Everyone knows that kids from Chinatown don't go to the park when the kids from Little Italy are there. They're rough, they're big, and they don't like Chinese kids. That's okay-Henry doesn't like them, either.

But what Henry does like are kites. He loves them. Even more, he loves to help his friend Grandfather Chin make them, and fly them over Chinatown and the park. But when Tony Guglione and his friends from Little Italy keep throwing rocks and destroying their beautiful creations, Henry and his friends decide enough is enough!

In this touching story based on true 1920's events, two rival groups of children representing two different cultures come face to face, and when they do, they find they share much more than just the same sky.

Author Notes

Bruce Edward Hall , a fourth-generation Chinese American, is the author of Tea That Burns: A Family Memoir of Chinatown , as well as other books. His articles have appeared in The New York Times , New York magazine, and American Heritage , among others. Besides his writing career, Mr. Hall also served as the head puppeteer on the televsion show Romper Room , and a principal puppeteer in The Muppets Take Manhattan . Mr. Hall lives in New York City.

William Low is a first-generation Chinese American who grew up in the Bronx. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Mr. Low has studied in Paris and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His beautiful work has been exhibited at galleries and museums, including the Society of Illustrators, the Museum of the City of New York, and the American Museum of Folk Art. Mr. Low lives in Huntington, New York.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Eight-year-old Henry lives in New York City's Chinatown, the three tiny streets next to the Little Italy neighborhood. He and his friends love to visit the kite maker, Grandfather Chin, to help him paste and paint the kites, which Grandfather Chin flies from his roof in dramatic swoops, sometimes chasing pigeons. Then some boys from Little Italy begin to throw rocks that destroy the kites. Henry wants to fight, but Grandfather Chin prefers to resist quietly by continuing to fly kites of increasing glory. Finally, Henry confronts the boys, and learns that they keep pet pigeons--the very birds that Grandfather Chin has chased with his kites. Together, the children work out a deal for air space: kites in the morning; pet pigeons in the afternoon. Hall's messages about compromise and tolerance weigh a bit heavily, but, in Henry's young voice, he tells an engaging story about a vibrant community, which is beautifully captured in Low's detailed, dramatic paintings. For more about the neighborhood, suggest Kam Mak's My Chinatown (2001). --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Henry Chu lives in New York City's Chinatown in the 1920s. He loves everything about it, from eating tasty dumplings to making and flying kites with his neighbor, Grandfather Chin. One day when Grandfather's spectacular butterfly kite is chasing a pigeon, Tony Guglione and his friends from Little Italy throw rocks at it and destroy it. Then they ruin his magnificent caterpillar. When they attack Grandfather's dragon kite, Henry and his companions confront them. The children almost come to blows, but when the dragon appears in the sky, again chasing a pigeon, the root of the discord comes to light. Tony and his pals raise homing pigeons, and the kites are frightening their pets. A compromise is reached-kites fly in the morning, birds in the afternoon-and new friendships are formed. Hall's story includes descriptions and details that ground it firmly in time and place, and the plot serves as an excellent vehicle for discussing how seeing things from someone else's perspective is essential for peaceful relations. Low's heavily textured and brilliantly colored kites soar across the pages with energy and grace. This gentle and satisfying tale, which is particularly effective for group sharing, will be widely appreciated.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.