Grandfather Counts

By Andrea Cheng
Illustrated by Ange Zheng

Paperback: $9.95

Six Pack: $59.70

Gong Gong (Grandfather) is coming from China to live with Helen's family. Helen is excited, but anxious. How will she and her siblings, who know only English, communicate with Gong Gong, who speaks only Chinese?

At first Gong Gong keeps to himself, reading the Chinese newspapers he brought with him. Then one day, as Helen sits outside watching for the train that runs behind her house, Gong Gong joins her. He starts counting the train cars in Chinese, and then teaches Helen the words. Helen reciprocates by teaching Gong Gong to count in English. Soon Helen and Gong Gong are teaching each other more words, and a special bond between them begins to develop and grow.

A moving intergenerational story, Grandfather Counts highlights the universality of the love shared between grandparent and grandchild, a love that helps them cross the boundaries of language and culture.

Check out reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.

Check out Grandfather Counts in the Building Classroom Community in Second Grade unit and collection.

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Andrea Cheng - Author

was the author of several critically-acclaimed books for young readers. Her works range from picture books to young adult novels, and her stories often draw on the experiences of her Hungarian relatives or her husband’s Chinese family. When not writing books, Cheng taught English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She passed away in late 2015. Learn more about her work at

Thumb_thumb Ange Zheng

has illustrated several children's books, including The Fishing Summer and Winter Rescue. A former designer at the Beijing Opera Company in China, he now lives in Canada.

About This Title


Paperback: 9781584301585

Hardcover: 9781584300106

Six Pack: 9781584304326


Reading Rainbow Selection
PBS Kids

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Honor Book Award
Society of School Librarians International

Parents' Choice Noteworthy Product
Parents' Choice Foundation

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 3

Reading Level:

Grades 2 - 2


Sharing & Giving, Overcoming Obstacles, Multiethnic interest, Immigration, Home, Grandparents, Friendship, Families, Education, Cultural Diversity, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Biracial/Multiracial Interest, Asian/Asian American Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Optimism/Enthusiasm, People In Motion, Realistic Fiction

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