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One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

Amazon.com Review

Exotic, beautiful, and instructive, this "mathematical folktale" by author-illustrator Demi emerged from her love of India. The narrative and the evocative illustrations combine to create a real sense of the culture and atmosphere of this romantic land. It's the story of Rani, a clever girl who outsmarts a very selfish raja and saves her village. When offered a reward for a , she asks only for one grain of , doubled each day for 30 days. Remember your math? That's lots of Rice: enough to feed a village for a good long time--and to teach a greedy raja a lesson.
--This text refers to the .

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-6, younger for reading aloud. Demi's lively illustrations, shining with gold-leaf details, enrich this story of Rani, a clever young woman who uses her skill in mathematical thinking to outwit a self-indulgent raja and secure food for her starving people. When the raja wishes to reward Rani for a Good Deed, Rani asks for one grain of Rice, with the amount to be doubled each day for 30 days. Demi's illustrations become increasingly rich as each day a different animal parades across vibrantly colored backgrounds to deliver Rice. Children will be as surprised as the raja to see how quickly Rani's Rice accumulates as the trick unfolds, and they'll be just as satisfied as Rani to see the selfish raja's Rice supply diminish. The illustrations amplify the suspense and humor, until finally, on the last day, 256 mighty elephants march across a four-page foldout to deliver their bundles. Teachers are sure to appreciate the book's multiple uses within the curriculum (Demi includes a table showing the math involved), and everyone will enjoy the triumph of good over evil achieved by a clever trick and math. Karen Morgan
--This text refers to the Hardcover Edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

In artwork inspired by Indian miniatures (though lacking their exquisiteness), Demi (The Stonecutter, 1995, etc.) fashions a folktale with far-reaching effects. The raja of a Rice-growing village orders his subjects to deliver to him the bulk of their harvest; he will keep it safe should a famine occur. A few years later the harvest fails, and so does the raja: ``Promise or no promise, a raja must not go hungry,'' he intones. When a , Rani, returns to the raja some that had fallen from baskets laden for his consumption, he offers her a reward. Her request is seemingly modest: a grain of Rice on the first day, two grains the next, four grains on the third; each day double the Rice of the day before, for 30 days. The raja, though, doesn't grasp the power of doubling. Day 21 garners 1,048,576 grains of Rice; on the last day it takes fold-out flaps to show the herd of elephants necessary to convey the Rice to Rani, who feeds the masses and extracts from the raja a promise to be more generous. This gratifying story of the disarming of greed provides an amazing look at the doubling process, and a calendar at the end shows how the reward simply grew and grew. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the .

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale Book Reviews

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