The Story of Paper

The Story of Paper is the story of three brothers in China who keep getting in trouble in school for playing with bugs instead of doing their work. The boys must write their answers on the ground with sticks because paper had not yet been invented. Their teacher punishes them by writing notes to their parents on their hands and instructing them to hold them up to keep them dry. The boys are embarrassed when the entire village sees them walking home this way and they try to think of a way to invent something for the teacher to write on. They succeed and the first paper is invented. The book also contains an author’s note about the true history of paper in China, and a recipe for homemade paper. I would recommend sharing this book with children ages 6 through 9. The simple story provides them with information about an everyday object they may be curious about. Additionally, children in this age group are beginning to assert themselves and take pride in their accomplishments, and they will enjoy the initiative shown by the characters in the story. I would use this book in a school setting with an extension about papermaking, showing the children how to make paper using the recipe in the book. The unique illustrations, created with bright colors and outlined in black, have a stained-glass quality to them and fit well with the book’s setting in ancient China. —K. Wilson, Reviewer
Year of Publication
Holiday House
ISSN Number
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