The Story of Kites

Kindergarten-Grade 3-The creative Kang brothers are back, once again inventing a practical solution to a common problem-in this case, keeping birds out of the rice fields. Shooing them away is time-consuming so the boys decide to make some wings of their own. Of course, when they try using them, they come crashing down. After some experimentation with paper and chopsticks, the youngsters come up with an idea that works. The villagers are so taken with the objects that the brothers send floating into the sky that the Kang family opens China’s first kite factory. The black lines outlining intense colors give Xuan’s lively cut-paper pictures a feeling of action and life as well as a sense of traditional Chinese art. Pale blue borders frame the white backgrounds of many of the illustrations. The book ends with directions for making and flying a kite safely, and in an author’s note, Compestine relates what is actually known about the development of kites in China. Demi’s Kites (Crown, 1999) and Jane Yolen’s The Emperor and the Kite (Philomel, 1983) speculate about kite development in China, but the playfulness and creativity of the Kang brothers make this version especially appealing. Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
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Holiday House
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