The Story of Chopsticks: Amazing Chinese Inventions

Ying Chang Compestine (Author) Yongsheng Xuan (Illustrator)


Learn how the three fun-loving Kang brothers created chopsticks, one of China's most famous inventions! This colorfully redesigned edition features a new bilingual Chinese translation.

The three playful and creative Kang brothers (Ting, Pan, and Kùai) discovered four of China's most famous discoveries in the series Amazing Chinese Inventions. In this adventure, the youngest boy Kùai never gets enough to eat. One day Kùai comes up with a plan: he is inspired to use sticks to grab food quickly while it's too hot for Ting and Pan. What will his family think?

When the Kang family attends a wedding banquet, Kai brings his chopsticks... to everyone's great surprise! When the whole village finds out, then what will the Emperor think? The story features an author's note on the history of chopsticks and a delicious dessert recipe, ideal for eating with chopsticks.

This fanciful blend of fact and imagination brings Asian culture alive for young readers. Children will enjoy the bright and bold artwork, created in the traditional Chinese style of hand cut, colored paper. Parents will enjoy the ingenuity of the main characters who teach adults a thing or two about inventiveness.

Teachers and librarians like the storybook's historical references and how it features a bilingual translation in simplified Chinese - ideal for language classes, programs, and schools.

"Like the hues in a stained glass window, [the illustrations] look brilliant...this well-designed book will please children in the primary grades."
- ALA Booklist

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Publish Date
April 05, 2016
9.0 X 0.6 X 11.3 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Ying Compestine: Ying's dozens of children's books have won many awards, including spots on the "best lists" from the ALA, Bank Street, Book Sense, and New York Times. She visits schools and teaches workshops internationally. She has written for magazines such as Cooking Light, Self, Men's Health, and Martha Stewart's Whole Living. Her website is

YongSheng Xuan illustrated the four volume "Story of" series. Educated at the renowned Central Arts and Crafts University in Beijing, China, he lives in Vancouver, Canada. His art has exhibited worldwide and appeared in Cricket magazine. His website is


"When brothers Pan, Ting, and Kùai encounter a problem at school or home, they come up with simple, practical solutions that benefit generations to come.There are four fiction picture books in the Amazing Chinese Inventions series. Chinese translations appear beside the English text, and the stories are supplemented with activities such as recipes, crafts, and historical facts about kites, paper, chopsticks and noodles. The Kangs lived long ago and it's reflected in their traditional style of dress, pony tailed hairstyles, and community values. Thick, black lines outline the detail and shape of the illustrations. The dark lines make the solid colours pop and they add a serious, but thoughtful feel to the artwork."
- Resource Links

"[The series Amazing Chinese Inventions provides] an important intervention into the existing literature by foregrounding Chinese characters as the main protagonists rather than as supporting or marginal characters in their narratives. Although these books take place in historical China, they do resist stereotypical representations by, for example, depicting Kùai and his brothers as ordinary kids who can misbehave like anyone else. Similarly, the books' representations of Chinese cultural practices, such as their food and customs, would not be particularly foreign to readers. Even for readers who may have limited knowledge of China, these books demystify these cultural references and make them more accessible to readers in various ways."
- CM magazine

""Bold and beautiful cut-paper design in bright colors resembling stained glass, instantly draws our attention." - In Culture Parent