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.
Poignant but not treacly, CROUCHING TIGER deals with an immigrant child’s conflicting emotions toward a grandparent from the old country…Nascimbene’s delicate ink and watercolor illustrations are exquisite. —The New York Times
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. Readers will warm to the duo’s growing friendship and the gifts that come as Ming Da allows himself to enter Grandpa’s world. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)