Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Crouching Tiger” as Want to Read:
Crouching Tiger
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crouching Tiger

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  145 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
A Chinese-American boy gains a new understanding of his Chinese grandfather in this celebratory story of family, martial arts, and the Chinese New Year.

Vinson is very excited when his grandfather comes from China for a visit. When Grandpa practices tai chi in the garden, Vinson asks to learn, hoping it will be like kung fu, full of kicks and punches. But tai chi’s meditati
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published December 13th 2011 by Candlewick Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crouching Tiger, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crouching Tiger

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Vinson is fascinated when his grandfather arrives from China and practices tai chi in the backyard. When Vinson finds out it’s a martial art, he thinks it might be like kung fu but soon learns it is not. His grandfather begins to teach him the basic movements of tai chi but it is slow and requires a lot of patience. When Vinson is offered a place in the Chinese New Year parade, he’s not sure he wants to even participate. However, when he and his grandfather get to China Town, he discovers that h ...more
Kacee Eddinger
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book so much. It was a really wonderful story about integrating ones ancestry into your present, as well as not being ashamed of who you are. Especially recommended for Chinese-American readers!
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Kid learns tai chi. Static illustrations reflect the story.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many of you are aware that I've been learning tai chi for the past ten months or so, and it's something I enjoy quite a lot, both for its meditative aspects and for its health benefits.

And just recently, it was the lunar new year. In fact, this past Saturday, I attended a Chinese New Year's celebration sponsored by the Taijiquan Enthusiasts Organization, which included a traditional Lion dance, a variety of martial arts demonstrations, and a ten-course Chinese banquet. It was a pretty terrific
Anthony Morello
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdg-291-reviews
Crouching Tiger is the story of young Chinese boy whose grandfather comes to visit from China in preparation for the Chinese New Year's parade. Vinson, called his Chinese name Ming Da by his grandfather, soon is exposed to the Chinese culture that is brought to him and is stressed "you are just as Chinese as you are American". One of these is tai chi, which Ming Da tries to learn but soon learns is harder than it looks. Ming Da is often embarrassed by his Grandfather's insistence on practicing C ...more
A Chinese-American boy embraces his Chinese heritage through learning the martial art of tai chi from his grandfather. He struggles at first and is impatient for more action, but begins to understand the importance in building a strong foundation through the principles of tai chi after watching his grandfather use his skills to help a young woman avoid an accident.

The story is strong in many aspects: the growing relationship of grandfather and grandson, the cultural awakening or the young Chines
With illustration done in ink and water, this gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of young Vinson who finds his Grandpa, visiting from China, practicing tai chi. Vinson loves kung fu and asks his Grandpa to teach him after Vinson demonstrates his vast knowledge of kung fu. Grandpa waits patiently until he can show Vinson how to stand meditate. Even though Vinson becomes slightly embarrassed at himself and also with his Grandpa during trips on the bus, to the parade, and at home, Vinson d ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2012
As Ming Da gets used to his grandfather's presence he asks to be taught the Kung Fu he sees his grandfather practising in the backyard. Instead of learning the kicks and punches he expects, Ming Da learns to stand still. he is disappointed, but eventually learns that self-discipline is the necessary first step in learning martial arts.

I picked up this picture book because the title was interesting, and I have read other books by the author.

I finished this book, well, it's a picture book. It does
Little Kid Reaction: I asked a friend to share it with her class, and they loved it.

Big Kid Reaction: This is an excellent book that provides a very good introduction to the Chinese New Year’s celebration. The illustrations complement the story very well.

Pros: Readers will enjoy very nice illustrations and lots of good information that is worked into the flow of the narrative.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
Lin Lin
When I read this book to my son, he jumped out of bed and acted out all the tai chi moves illustrated in the book. We had a great time reading it and reflecting upon our memories of grandfathers when they visited us in the states. Both of them passed away in the last few years, but like all beloved ones, they live in our hearts and they also lived with us as we practice and use what we have learned from them. This book encourages us to make sure our children growing up in the USA can still keep ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I liked this--particularly the art, which includes examples of various tai chi positions--but wasn't particularly moved by the story (a Chinese-American grandson learns to respect and admire his Chinese grandfather when said grandfather introduces him to tai chi). Basically, we've seen this story plenty of times before. Still, it could be a good introduction to Chinese and Chinese-American culture for younger kids.
Brittany Rockhill
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This is a book that honors a culture and gives it a positive portrayal. The boy models what his grandfather does and learn the martial art tai chi. He enjoys learning about his culture and through this book students can learn about the Chinese culture. It talks a lot about what is special to the Chinese people and the pictures are diverse with beautiful scenes. They are not isolated or stereotyped in this book.
Lillian Yawanis
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I read this for a multicultural picture book

I really enjoyed reading Crouching Tiger. It was a simple story about a grandfather that visits from China and practices Martial arts in the back yard. The grandson is embarrassed but soon develops a relationship with grandfather. It’s educational, in the sense where you learn about new facts about the Chinese New Year. It was a good book and nice illustrations.
The Styling Librarian
Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by Yan Nascimbene – I just loved reading Revolution is not a dinner party by this author a few years ago, powerful historical fiction book. This is a lovely present day picture book celebrating different family generations getting to know one and appreciate one another. Loved the introduction to tai chi, the concept of patience, and the relationship development between grandfather and grandson. Beautiful picture book!
Mary Ann
When his Chinese grandfather comes for a visit, Vinson is fascinated by the way his grandfather practices tai chi and longs to learn martial arts for himself--but he chafes against the quiet discipline his grandfather requires. Young readers cheer with the final New Year’s parade as grandson and grandfather celebrate together with love and respect.
Rick Mccray
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The simple story about a grandfather visiting his young grandson pulls you in with its warmness. The boy's embarrassment over his grandfather and eventual realization that his grandpa is actually awesome is a good conclusion for young and old readers alike. I love the martial arts aspect of the book and it was a good read.
Stacy Ford
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Chinese grandfather comes to America to visit his family, including his grandson Ming Da. The grandfather starts to teach Ming Da the ancient art of Tai Chi, but he wants to break boards and do Kung Fu. The grandfathers patience persists and the young boy comes around.

A good book to introduce during the Chinese New Year or as part of a cross cultural unit of study.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A young boy is embarrassed by his grandfather, who came to visit America from China for the Chinese New Year. The Chinese like illustrations by Yan Nascimbene are beautiful. I like how Ying Chang Compestine tells the story of a first generation American who is embarrassed by his grandfather's old/foreign ways. It is a common story of immigrants and maintaining a heritage.
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A much-needed and worthy addition to the offerings of picture books on the Chinese-American (East Asian-American) experience. Should resonate with many families and capture the curisoities of many more.

The slightly longer story better suits this book for ages 7-9.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations accompany a story of a boy getting to know his grandfather and learning to appreciate his heritage. Nice intro material to Chinese New Year. Tai chi poses are illustrated throughout.
A multileveled story I could see different children engaging from different vantages -- grandparent/grandchild relationships; tai chi/martial arts; Chinese American identity; Chinese New Year festivities; lessons in perseverance, persistence, dedication and commitment; etc. Lovely work.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is about a Chinese-American boy who learns Tai Chi from his Grandfather. I think this would be a great way to introduce kids to Chinese-American culture and Tai Chi. Also includes an author's note at the end, which I always appreciate.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Crouching Tiger, Preaching Book.

I really liked the artwork in this book. I loved the introduction to another culture. A hint of humor would have gone so far, though, and made the preaching far more palatable.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Ming Da's grandfather comes to visit from China, and teaches him tai chi, then celebrates Chinese New Year with him. Ink and watercolor full-page illustrations, with drawings of tai chi moves. Might interest young boys who are Chinese, or those who are into martial arts. Ages 6-8.
Kris DeLabio
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Tai chi lessons for a boy from his grandfather
Melissa Carroll
The illustrations in this book are beautiful.
Sharon Lawler
Shows the interesting relationship between tai chi and martial arts.
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great. I really liked the story, but I also enjoyed the ti-chi moves at the bottom of each page.
A young boy learns about tai chi from his Chinese grandfather and participates in the Chinese New Year celebration.
Jie Gao
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, china
An interesting book that talks about Tai Chi and Kung Fu.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A New Year's Reunion
  • Under the Same Sun
  • Me Want Pet!
  • An Awesome Book of Love!
  • The Firekeeper's Son
  • Goal!
  • The Big Wet Balloon: TOON Level 2
  • Another Brother
  • You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World
  • My Brave Year of Firsts: Tries, Sighs, and High Fives
  • This Is Our House
  • Mooshka: A Quilt Story
  • Back of the Bus
  • Same, Same But Different
  • Nighttime Ninja
  • Tsunami!
  • Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
  • The No. 1 Car Spotter (No. 1 Car Spotter, #1)
Ying Chang Compestine was born and raised in China. The spokesperson for Nestle Maggi Taste of Asia products and a national authority on Chinese cuisine and culture, she is the author of three cookbooks for adults, eight picture books for children, and one young adult novel. She lives in California with her family.