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Chang's Paper Pony (I Can Read Book 3) Paperback – March 30, 1993


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's the time of the Gold Rush in this I Can Read title; young Chang and his Grandpa Li work in the kitchen of the Gold Ditch Hotel in San Francisco. Since arriving from China, Chang has suffered indignities: he has been ostracized by American children and teased by the miners. Chang longs for a pony of his own, a pony to love and to ease the loneliness, but Grandpa says the only one they can afford is a paper onethe painting tacked above the stove. Kindly Big Pete, a miner, shows Chang how to dig and pan for gold, but he lacks enough for a pony. Then he finds gold dust where he least expects it. Although brief and simple, the story is rich in atmosphere, history and emotion. Coerr brings to young readers not only a satisfying tale, but a portrayal of an aspect of 19th century California history rarely attempted at this level. Ray's forceful drawings support the text well and firmly establish the dusty mining-town environment. She is particularly adept at showing the vulnerability of children, as well as the ways in which large and small joys affect them. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4 Soft and warm illustrations in three colors accompany this story of a lonely Chinese boy during California's Gold Rush days. Sweeping the floor of Big Pete's cabin, Chang finds gold dust, and Pete uses some of the money to buy him the pony he so desperately wants. The text is well written and does not trivialize Chang's desire for a pony. The author's note at the end of the book details some of the historical background for this story that rings true. The type size, layout, and vocabulary make the book appropriate for early primary readers. However, few of those readers will have the maturity to understand the historical period of more than 100 years ago during which the story takes place. In that context, the Chinese characters depicted will perpetuate stereotypes of humble, bowing Chinese people with queues to the present day Chinese. Yet the higher end of the beginning reader crowd and older reluctant readers will find this story of a child's dreams to be informative and different. Sharron McElmeel, Cedar Rapids Community Schools, Iowa
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 440L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Book 3
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064441636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064441636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on March 23, 2000
Format: Library Binding
A story of a chinese boy living with his grandfather at a mining camp during the gold rush. Chang is lonely and wants a pony so he would have a "pengyo" a friend. This story delicately discusses the hurt a person feels when they are made fun of for being culturally different. Chang's idea of panning for gold to earn money for his dream horse doesn't pan out, but honesty and hard work does. A wonderful story that will educate and entertain your child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody VINE VOICE on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
CHANG'S PAPER PONY by Eleanor Coerr and illustrated by Deborah Ray is a 64 page book with 42 drawings. The drawings are made with an ordinary pencil, and colored with colored pencils. The colored pencils are blue, tan, green, brown, and grey. Your child will noticed the orderly streaks of the pencil lines, for example, that fill in the shirts and hats of the gold miners. Hopefully, this will inspire your child to learn drawing. Some of the drawings take up an entire page, some are 1/2 page drawings, and some are panoramic drawings spilling across the left-hand page and the right-hand page. All of the drawings have indistinct or fuzzy borders, and are surrounded by the white paper of the page. Although the drawing style is not unique or complicated, it is evident that Deborah Ray is a good artist. Two of the pages contain Chinese calligraphy. The very last page contains a 1-page summary of the history of Chinese laborers in California during the late 1800s.

The book has four chapters: CHANG'S WISH, TROUBLE, BIG PETE, GOLD FEVER, and THE REAL PONY. The book begins like this: "Chang and Granpa Li were peeling potatoes in the kitchen of the Gold Ditch Hotel. Suddenly Chang stopped. "I hear horses!" he cried, and ran to the door.

The story takes place in gold country in California. The narrative discloses how American boys threw stones at Chang when he first arrived in the U.S., Chang's wish for a pony, the grandfather's work in operating a kitchen for the gold miners, how the miners made fun of Change because of his foreign habits (wearing a pigtail, and being overly respectful towards the gold miners). We see Chang at school, where a Chinese schoolmaster strikes him with a stick to ensure that he will be a better student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dream big.

Be obedient, but hold onto your dream.

Be patient, but hold onto your dream.

Be diligent, but hold onto your dream.

Be long-suffering, but hold onto your dream.

Be creative, but hold onto your dream.

Be trustworthy, but hold onto your dream.

Chang does not get his dream directly, a generous benefactor gives him a gift. It's still a good book.
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Chang's Paper Pony (I Can Read Book 3)
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