One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi
I have read many books by world-renowned children’s book author, Demi, but I have not gotten around to reviewing any of Demi’s books yet. “One Grain of Rice” is the first book by Demi that I am reviewing and it is a folktale from India that is about a young woman named Rani who tries to trick the raja of India into giving her more rice than is needed during a famine. “One Grain of Rice” is truly a worthy folktale that will be loads of fun for children!
When Demi stated in the title of this book that this is a clever tale, she was not kidding! Demi has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this clever story that is full of pure wit! What really stood out for me in Demi’s writing was how Demi portrayed the main character Rani as a clever and independent heroine of the story as Rani uses her wits and her talented use of mathematics as a way to teach the raja a lesson he will never forget! I also loved the way that Demi uses mathematics as a major plot device in this book as it helps children learn more about mathematics and Demi made this book even more helpful for children by providing a chart at the back of the book about how Rani doubled each number per day, so you do not have to necessarily use a calculator to work out the formula used by Rani, but you can use a calculator if you want to teach your child about how to work out the problems on their own. Demi’s illustrations are extremely beautiful in this book as she uses watercolor painting to illustrate the characters and the landscapes. My favorite images in this book are of Rani herself as she is a truly beautiful looking character as she wears a gorgeous Indian red dress and has flowing black hair that touches her back. I also enjoyed the images of all the animals that were being used when they were delivering the rice to Rani and the image that truly stood out for me was the image of the elephants bring Rani the rice in baskets as the page is folded out and you can see hundreds of elephants waking across the page.
Overall, “One Grain of Rice” is a truly wonderful and clever folktale for children who love folktales from India and want to learn about mathematics in a creative way! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the mathematical approach in this story might be too difficult for smaller children to understand.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
One Grain of Rice
One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
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Thank you! 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. When a young village girl, Rani, returns to the raja some rice 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,, 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.
Book Page Guide. One Grain of Rice. A long time ago in India a raja ruled the country. He ruled it with fairness and thought out every one of his actions, causing him to rule it very wisely, and with caution. His wiseness in the book was portrayed by him requiring the rice that was grown to be stored away.