Cover image for Grandfather Tang's story
Grandfather Tang's story
Tompert, Ann.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown Publishers, [1990]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Grandfather tells a story about shape-changing fox fairies who try to best each other until a hunter brings danger to both of them.
Reading Level:
AD 660 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 0.5 17315.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.6 2 Quiz: 04704.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
West Seneca Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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 reading list!

When Little Soo asks for a story, Grandfather Tang arranges the tangram pieces and two magic fox fairies spring to life. The foxes change shapes as quick as a wink, from rabbits to dogs to squirrels and geese. But their game turns dangerous when a hunter raises his bow. . . .

Originally published in 1990, Grandfather Tang's Story will continue to delight new readers as the wonder of the tangram puzzle--and an endearing game between a grandfather and his granddaughter--reveals a story of magic, clever animals, and, ultimately, true friendship.

An NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
An NCTE Notable Children's Trade Book in the Language Arts

"Ingenious." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Author Notes

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 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. An old Chinese man tells his granddaughter a story, rearranging two tangram puzzles into a series of animals. A playful introduction for teachers using tangrams as an art or pregeometry activity.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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