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Grandfather Tang's Story
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Grandfather Tang's Story

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  587 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Illus. in full color. "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. Ingenious."--Bulletin, Center for Children's Books. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

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Amanda Hayes
Tanograms are puzzles that are popular in Chinese culture. The book Grandfather's Tanograms illustrates the way the Chinese use the tiles to share stories with others. Each time a new character is introduced the tiles are rearranged to depict the change. In the book the two characters that are changing are known as fox fairies, which are known all thoughout Chinese folklore. The story begins with the two fox fairies having a competition with one another. Each change is made as they try to find a ...more
Nicholas Linsk
This is the story about a grandfather and his granddaughter playing with tangrams and they created a story to go along with the tangrams. The story begins with both the grandfather and granddaughter being foxes and each were competitive against each other throughout the story. Both changed animals in order to keep up with the other one, not only to catch the other, but to try to eat them as well. The author used tangrams to represent and show the different animals that they both represented. The ...more
Hannah Taylor
Personal reaction: I liked this book because of how it incorporated tangrams into the story. I also really liked how it brought in the grandpa in as well. The beginning where the grandfather and granddaughter were sitting under the tree was very cute because of the obvious respect the granddaughter had for him.

Purpose: This book would be great to read aloud to 2nd graders because I think they would understand the concept and patterns of tangrams. I would want to use this book on an ELMO or somet
Jena Costin
Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert is story that depicts the unique relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter. The two create a story through the development of a tangram, an ancient Chinese puzzle with pieces to construct images of various animals. This story is great for teaching the tradition of storytelling in specific cultures and its impact on familial values. It is also a great story to integrate literacy in the math curriculum. Geometry is an important math concept th ...more
Ashley R.
Grandfather Tang's Story is about a child listening to her grandfather tell old stories. For each story, he put together shapes of animals and objects using the same seven pieces of paper every time. These seven pieces of paper come from one perfect square. The artwork in this book was done with pens and watercolors, and they set a very whimsical, relaxing tone to this book. My favorite thing about this story is that it can be used in teaching lessons for math. Teachers, or anyone wanting to use ...more
Jill Brown
Good for math and tangrams. Story that a grandfather tells his granddaughter about different animals as he shapes animals with tangrams. The fable is two foxes who change shapes and become each other's predators. Then an animal realizes that he is trying to hurt his friend, and changes to a goose like his friend. However a hunter shoots down one of the animals, and the friend animal becomes a lion and protects his friend from the hunter. Then the friends change back into foxes and mend their wou ...more
Grandfather Tang's Story is an excellent interactive story. Not only is the story being told through the words and the pictures, but also through tangrams. Tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles that have 7 pieces all made from a square piece of paper. You put the pieces together to form different shapes. Grandfather Tang's Story uses these puzzles to make the characters come off the page.
The story is of two fairy foxes that are showing each other the great animals that they can become, but by do
Kylee Adderson
A young girl's grandfather is telling her a story using tangrams. These are usually used in other cultures so this story would be good used to teach different cultures.
They arrange the tangrams into many different shapes, including the two of them sitting underneath a tree.
This could be used in third grade classroom.
In this exceptional story of Grandfather Tang's Story, Grandfather Tang and Little Soo play with tangram puzzles one afternoon. Little Soo inquires if they could tell stories using the tangrams and so Grandfather Tang tells the story of the two foxes. The two foxes often compete since they both have the magic power to change into whichever animal they would like. One day, they misused this power in a game of tag and one of the foxes almost got killed by a hunter....This story is a great example ...more
Little Soo begs Grandfather Tang to tell her a story about fox fairies. So grandfather begins a story about Chou and Wu Ling, two fox fairies who can change themselves into different animals. When danger threatens one of the fox fairies, they put their competition aside in order to save each other.

In addition to the lovely Chinese folktale, the addition of tangram design embedded in the text adds a different curricular dimension to this picture book. This book can be used to introduce tangram d
I used this book during my Chinese New Year semi-unit.

This is a long-winded story that includes tangram puzzles! The general idea is that you read the book and the kids make tangrams at the same time.

I will give out a word of advice - many kids will NOT like using the tangram pieces to make the animals. I would estimate that about half of my kids were into it and half were not having it at all. I think it's a spatial aptitude thing. I had kids helping each other and that seemed to alleviate the
This book is so fun! The story is action packed with messages about games that get out of hand and true friendship. This story is told within another sweet story about a girl and her grandfather. I took the time to make the tangrams with my daughter and it was a lot of fun. It slowed the pace of the story a bit and gave us a chance to fiddle around with geometry. At the conclusion of the book, the author has written a micro-history of tangrams and included some information about Chinese folklore ...more
I wasn't excited to read this, but I liked it a lot. Perhaps 4.5 stars even.
Isabel Hernandez
I would like to use this book in my classroom to introduce tangrams. The information from the back of the book adds a multiculturaland historical dimension to the lesson while the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter offers an intergenerational link. I would like to follow each transformation in the book with a poster board revealing page by page what is happening. We could then do a small groups activity where the students play with the tangrams and create their own versions of th ...more
A fun book with a story to go along with tangram shapes.
Sarah Decarlo
Uses tiles to make different shapes.
Pretty good simple tangram story.
Gordon Pennington
Grandfather Tang's story is a picture-book with a very heavily influenced Asian feel. Grandfather Tang tells the story of two fox fairies, which incidentally incorporates the use of tangrams. The tangrams are a neat concept and will help spur creativity with children, matching the shapes on the page and potentially making their own creations. The illustrations in this book, though looking somewhat dated, are well done. I would recommend this book to students who like puzzles.
Jo Oehrlein
A longer story (more words) than many math picture books.

Best to be "acted out" as it is told with a set of tangrams. Actually, I would want at least 2 sets (one for each of the main characters) and maybe 3 (the last page needs 3 sets to do the full scene).

The story has a wonderful folk tale feel and the watercolor and ink illustrations go with it marvelously. Great for people who don't necessarily sit still while listening.
Sue Pak
I liked this book. It is a pretty cute book about a grandfather telling a story using tangrams to his granddaughter.

It's interesting because the tangrams can be moved around in order to make different animals. It is the perfect book to use if you are going to use tangrams with your children. Focus on geometry and shapes. Children can try to make the same animals that the story mentions or construct their own!
Lidra West
This is an excellent book when teaching and dealing with shapes and the different shapes and images you can make out of smaller shapes. Within this book a grandfather is tell his granddaughter a story and as the story goes on his animal he creates with the shape continue to change allowing the student to manipulate the shapes given to them to play along with the story. Excellent book for all ages.
This is a fun story about two foxes that keep changing into different animals as they try to catch each other. As each animal changes, the story illustrates how to make that animal with tangrams. I can't wait to make my own tangrams (yes, we will eventually purchase a sturdy set) and then have the kids help me make each animal with them as we go. Great shapes/math/folk lesson. =)
Grandfather Tang's Story is a wonderful book that tells the story of an old man who makes different animals out of paper that are created with tangram shapes. I would use this book to teach students about geometry and tangrams. I would have students use the book to make the tangrams they see for themselves using tangram shapes. This book could be used for students in grades 1st-3rd.
Lauren Owens
This is a cute story that incorporates tangram pieces in the story line. After reading the book, the teacher could print out big versions of the tangram puzzles in the book and have the students complete them. Also, the students can be practicing directionality in their speech when talking about the relation of one piece to another.
Recommended grade level:K-5
Chelsea Bucci
A cute story about a grandfather and his grand daughter making tangrams of various animals. This book teaches the definition of a tangram: Chinese puzzle that consists of different geometric pieces. This would be a great book to incorporate into a geometry lesson, when students are leaving the names for various shapes.
A folk-tale on tangrams. In this story, Grandfather Tang tells little Soo about a story of two fox fairies. He tells her how they competed against each other, but one day, they had to put their differences aside. One fox helped the other fox from being killed. Great story on the importance of friendship.
Renae Williams
I didnt really like this book, i felt like the illustrations were bland and dull and the story was not engaging. This book could go along with a unit on Tangrams because they are featured in this book. Having children do tangrams along with the book, or make thier own would liven this book up!
Quynh Le
This would be a wonderful book to accompany a lesson on geometric shapes. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story with all the different animals are also very interesting. Students can use tangram pieces and try to recreate the different shapes themselves as we move along with the book.
Wendy Jones
I love the idea of this book. Having students make shapes with tangrams as they read is not only engaging, but really helps bring the material to life for students. I think they are much more likely to remember the content when they have to use it. Fun, exciting way to use geometry.
This is a beautiful tale that introduces students to tangrams. I love reading this story to my students after TAKS testing has been completed. Typically, I extend the activity to allows students to create their own animal tangrams. They LOVE this in-class project.
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