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Borrowing a Tail

by Songying Lin

illustrated by Le Zhang

translated by Duncan Poupard

Picture Book


7.5 x 6.7, 32 pages


March, 2017

ISBN 9781945295065

U.S. $5.99 / CAN. $7.99

Available now:

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Borrowing a Tail is the type of story that invites you to read twice in a row. The moment you finish, you want to flip to the beginning.

—Chinese Books for Young Readers

“Candied Plums showcases the variety and art of China's children's literature at a time when the United States receives precious little exposure to the vibrancy of contemporary Chinese culture. The books can be used as educational tools to learn about Chinese language about culture, but most crucially stand alone as unique, captivating stories with universal appeal. They are beautifully produced and deserve to be read by children (and adults) the world over.”

—Michael Buening

Director of Public Programs at China Institute

“Teachers of our kids program are immediately charmed by the Candied Plums books, and instantly talked about building a fun unit plan around one or two books for this coming semester. These books are perfect for kids to get excited about stories written in Chinese, especially outside of Chinese speaking regions. I would recommend to any teachers and/or parents who are seeking fun, beautiful, and well-written books in Chinese.”

—Shenzhan Liao

Director of Education & Dean at China Institute

I'd give Candied Plums a hug if I could. We have a very large Chinese population and I'm always struggling to find good Chinese language books to add to our collection. These are gorgeous and I love the fact that they are contemporary Chinese picture books. We have many translations of American titles but not as many original Chinese stories. I am also very glad of the full English descriptions of the books on the website.

—Julie Rines from Thomas Crane Public Library

The Little Gecko was crawling along the wall when a huge green snake bit off his tail. He thought he looked very ugly without a tail and decided to borrow one. He turned to different animals for help. But no one was willing to lend him one. He got a new tail nevertheless. Guess how?


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Le Zhang is a children's book author and illustrator. He studied Chinese painting in Nanjing Academy of Fine Arts. Ever since the birth of his child, he took to children's books and has been drawing for the past fourteen years, illustrating and creating children's picture books.

Duncan Poupard is a lecturer in translation studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He once worked on the award-winning Collins Easy Learning Mandarin Dictionary.