CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 26. . . .March 11, 2016
Originally published in 2003, but now with a simplified Chinese translation, this bilingual picture book is one of four books in the “Amazing Chinese Inventions” series (The Story of Chopsticks, The Story of Noodles, The Story of Kites). Set in the past, this is the story of three elementary school-aged brothers who solve an embarrassing problem by using what is available in their house, in this case, their mother’s silk scraps, water, twigs and leaves. Through teamwork, the boys turn the mush in the bucket into something they can write on. Once it is presented and named zhi (paper) by the emperor, the teacher stops writing messages to the parents on the boys’ hands. The repetition of the phrases that contain the words grasshoppers, ants, and worms make this an attention-grabbing read-aloud, as do the stained glass looking illustrations. Not all children will be able to read the Chinese characters under the English text, but they will discover how different the two languages look. The Story of Paper encourages the reader to be inventive, yet practical, when solving a problem.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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