Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine

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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 meditative postures are slow and still, and Vinson quickly gets bored. He can't understand why Grandpa insists on calling him by his Chinese name, Ming Da, or why he has to wear a traditional Chinese jacket to the Chinese New Year parade. As the parade assembles, however, he notices the great respect given to his grandfather and the lion dancers under his training. And when Vinson is offered a role in the parade, he realizes that being part Chinese can be pretty cool--and is ready to start learning from his grandpa's martial-arts mastery in earnest.

About Ying Chang Compestine

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Ying Chang Compestine is the author of the acclaimed middle-grade novel REVOLUTION IS NOT A DINNER PARTY as well as several picture books and a collection of short stories, A BANQUET FOR HUNGRY GHOSTS. Ying Chang Compestine lives in California.Yan Nascimbene, an award-winning illustrator of many books for children, has illustrated more than three hundred book covers for publishers all over the world. His editorial illustrations have appeared in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and many other publications. Yan Nascimbene lives in the south of France and in California.
Published December 13, 2011 by Candlewick. 40 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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When his grandfather comes for a visit from China, Vinson is fascinated by the dance the older man practices in the garden: “His hands moved like gliding birds.

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Publishers Weekly

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The beauty Nascimbene discovers in Ming Da’s suburban world—the leaves that fall around Ming Da as he practices, parade-goers scattered like confetti, the stars that accompany Ming Da and Grandpa on the way home—echoes the beauty Ming Da eventually finds in Grandpa’s tai chi poses.

Oct 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Crouching Tiger

Common Sense Media

But when he sees his grandfather save a woman by kicking away a board aimed at her head, then gets an important role in the Chinese New Year parade and comes home with a bunch of money-filled red envelopes, he begins to feel it's pretty cool being Chinese.

Dec 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Crouching Tiger

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Youth Services Book Review

He soon becomes impatient with the slow gentle moves and longs to do “kung fu.” Eventually he sees that practicing this slow movement will lead him to participate in The Dragon Dance during Chinese New Year.

Apr 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Crouching Tiger

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