The Story of Paper

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $4.98   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Those inventive Kang boys from The Story of Kites, The Story of Noodles, and The Story of Chopsticks are back. Since Ting, Pan and Kùai are not paying attention in school, their teacher writes notes to their parents on their hands, for cloth to write on is very expensive. Tired of holding up their hands for the notes to be read, the boys try to think of something else to write on. They can't afford silk or other cloth, but their mother, a seamstress, has many scraps. After mashing rice for rice cakes, Kùai decides they should try mixing and mashing the scraps with twigs and bark. The teacher is so impressed with their product that he sends it to the emperor. The family then opens "the world's very first paper factory." Xuan's adaptation of a traditional Chinese paper cutting process for the illustrations works well to set the tone for the story. Heavy black outlines define the shapes, which are filled with intense flat colors. The decorative scenes describe the action in an attractive, light-hearted fashion in keeping with the far-from-serious tale. A note discusses the origin of paper in China, while a final page gives a recipe for making paper in a blender with adult help. 2003, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-The irrepressible Kang boys are now credited with the invention of paper. The three brothers struggle to concentrate on their math as they write their answers on the ground with sticks, an early Chinese method of doing schoolwork, but playing with bugs distracts them. Annoyed, their teacher prints a note to their parents on each of their hands and admonishes them to hold their arms in the air so the ink will dry without smudging. Ting, Pan, and K ai try to hide the messages as they race through the village, but everyone they pass asks to read what the schoolmaster has written. Their shame leads to a search for something better to write on. While helping Mama make mash for rice cakes, K ai suggests that they soak their mother's silk sewing scraps the same way. After several days of waiting and vigorous mashing, the boys pour the pulp into the trays used to drain mashed rice. Now they have an invention that will keep their teacher's comments a secret from prying eyes. Cut-paper illustrations are a fitting accompaniment to this amusing account of the discovery of papermaking. With bold black outlines and vivid coloration against a white, marbled background, the artwork captures the action as the boys exercise their ingenuity. Endnotes include information about the origin of paper and simple instructions for making it in a mason jar.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823417056
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 919,797
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)