Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant

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Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant
How much does an elephant weigh? How do you know? How would you know if you didn’t have a modern scale? Six-year-old Cao Chong, the most famous child prodigy in Chinese history, faced just this problem! Chong watches as the prime minister’s most trusted and learned advisors debate different methods. The principle of buoyancy and a little bit of creative thinking help this boy come up with a solution.

Based on real events, this fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 30-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish and Chinese translations support ELL and multilingual programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. Tap the animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.

Written by Songju Ma Daemicke, Illustrated by Christina Wald
32 pg, 8.5 X 10, Ages 4-9, Grades K-3, Lexile: 830, AR: 4.2, F&P: P
Paperback 9781628559040 $11.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628559057 $11.95  
Chinese Paperback 9781607187196 $11.95  
EBook 9781628559088 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628559095 Purchase Here
Chinese EBook 9781607187219 Purchase Here
Arabic EBook 9781643514482 Purchase Here
Indonesian EBook 9781643513720 Purchase Here
Japanese EBook 9781643515601 Purchase Here
Thai EBook 9781643517964 Purchase Here
Keywords:   buoyancy, problem solving, critical thinking, sink or float, scale, lever, volume, density, units of measurement, fulcrum, force, Chinese history, geography, maps, coordinate grid, Han Dynasty
Animals in the book:   Elephants
Vetters:   Thanks to Tammy Spicer, Director of Operations at Discovery Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah, for verifying the accuracy of the buoyancy information in the For Creative Minds section.


Nicely produced and balanced in its instructive approach.
- Kirkus Reviews

Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant" is a beautiful retelling of ancient Chinese tale about a boy genius, a child prodigy named Cao Chong who lived nearly two thousand years ago in China... The colored illustrations help bring the events of long ago Han to life for contemporary readers.
-MIdwest Book Review

This book is written in a fun way so that the reader can make guesses about weighing an elephant, too...I was impressed with the number and variety of educational activities in the back. There are science experiments, a discussion about how elephants are weighed today, a geography activity, and more information about Cao Chong.
-Manhattan Book Review

Author/Illustrator Info:

Songju Ma Daemicke grew up in Jilin, China, where she enjoyed listening to the stories her grandparents told. Songju moved to the United States in 1996. After obtaining a master's degree in computer science, she worked as a software engineer until her twin daughters were born. Songju has always excelled in math and has recently gravitated back to her early love of literature and stories. A Case of Sense is her debut picture book. Songju lives in Illinois with her husband and their daughters. Visit her website at

In addition to Cash Kat, Christina Wald has illustrated Fibonacci Zoo, A Cool Summer Tail, A Warm Winter Tail, Habitat Spy, Little Red Bat, and Henry the Impatient Heron for Arbordale. She also enjoys illustrating a wide variety of toys, games, books, and magazines. From a book that featured hundreds of animals on each page (Look, Find, and Learn: Animals of the World) to games including the Star Wars role playing game series, every assignment covers something new and exciting. In recent years, she has illustrated tons of different animals for books and other publications. Christina enjoys the research aspect of such projects, saying that each new book is a fascinating new learning experience. She often integrates travel to research for her illustrations. She lives in Ohio with her husband and three cats. Visit Christina's website.


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