in the UK
In this story built around the geometric figure, the tangram, an ancient Chinese warlord expresses delight when an artist brings him an exceptionally beautiful square tile. But the artist drops it, and the tile breaks into seven pieces: a parallelogram, a square, and five triangles. The warlord threatens dire punishment for the artist if it cannot be mended, but he will handsomely reward anyone who can put the pieces back together. Though sages and scholars try and fail, a simple peasant boy solves the puzzle. Large-scale paintings, varied in composition and subtle in coloration, clearly express the characters' emotions, define the setting, and dramatise the action. On the last pages, Pilegard notes that the tangram probably originated in China during the T'ang dynasty when an artist dropped a square tile that broke into seven pieces. A simple template is provided for those who want to make their own tangram/tile puzzles. This handsome picture book will be useful for encouraging children to play around with geometry at home or in the classroom.
Pelican Publishing Co
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