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One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale [Hardcover]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.99
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Book Description

April 1 1997
Artwork inspired by traditional Indian miniature paintings - including a four-page gatefold - is "visually striking." - Publishers Weekly. "While there are other versions of this folktale available, none match Demi's for authenticity, illustrative grandeur, and textual clarity." - School Library Journal, starred review

Frequently Bought Together

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale + Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar + Full House: An Invitation to Fractions
Price For All Three: CDN$ 35.04

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Product Description

From Amazon

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 good deed, she asks only for one grain of rice, 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.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4. A resourceful village girl outsmarts a greedy raja, turning a reward of one grain of rice into a feast for a hungry nation. Delicate paintings emblazoned with touches of gold give this Indian folktale an exotic air.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos from a math major... Feb. 5 2001
A moral and a math tale rolled into one. What more could you ask, except for some delightful illustrations modeled after Indian art and culture? This book is such a pleasure that besides obtaining a copy from myself, I gave one to my mathematics advisor, who thought it was cute as well. It's a clever illustration of the doubling function and a useful teaching tool for the younger grades.
The text is well-written and appropriate for its audience, the pictures are colorful and elegant, and the pull-out poster is just plain fun. What child wouldn't like a scene that simply depicts 256 elephants marching across the page? And the story of a girl who teaches a ruler to be kind and just is classic-not to mention that, being a girl myself, I appreciate the message that is sent by the intelligent main character being female. Finally, the very last page of the book contains a helpful chart that corresponds the grains of rice Rani receives each day to the day she receives it on.
As a side note, parents might find it a fun project to replicate this tale in real life by giving a child a penny and then doubling it for seven days. At the end of the week the child would be the proud owner of $1.27, not to mention possess some newfound math skills. I would advise you to restrict it to a week instead of the thirty days that is used in the book, though. Unless, of course, you've got the $10,737,400 you would be obligated to give lying around the house in spare change. ^_~
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book. But why is everybody WHITE? July 3 2002
By A Customer
This book has many strong points. It features a strong and clever female heroine. It makes mathematics fun. The sumptuous illustratations imitate the style of Classical Indian miniatures. But I have a major reservation: all the characters appear Caucasian, with very white skin and very rosy cheeks, even though the book is set in India, and the characters wear Indian clothing. We bought this book for our daughter, whom we adopted from India. I wish that she could see in this book a brave and resourceful heroine who is BROWN like her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves this book! Feb. 23 2003
By A Customer
We checked this book out from the library 3 years ago when she was five. That year it was at the top of her Christmas wish list. Now three years later it is still one her favorite books. This book has a positive moral about greed and courage. It features a smart, courageous and generous female character who uses math to out whit a greedy raja. It also shows children that sharing and kindness are rewards in themselves. Plus the math lesson is fun and educational. What more could a parent ask for? We could ask for fantastic Indian art illustrations which the book is filled with. So this book does have it all. A positive moral, a brave heroine, an educational math lesson and wonderful vibrant illustrations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Math, Eloquent Ethics March 12 2002
Demi sweeps us away with this story of a little girl whose quick thinking and knowlege of mathematics teaches a raja a lesson and saves her village.
This story touches on many levels, the first of which is the visual. A few of its glossy pages, each the quality of a fine color print, unfold to over two feet in length for the purpose of illustrating a mathematic principle that could never be explained as well only in words, no matter how many. It also serves up a well-told tale, set in India, that holds a child to the last. Finally, it offers lessons in generosity, keeping one's word, providing for the future, and helping the poor. "A Grain of Rice" is truly original, however, in the way that it brings all of these elements, particularly the mathematic and the humanitarian, together in one arrestingly beautiful book.
This would make a touching gift to anyone who enjoys Indian art and design or mathematics, regardless of age. It is also a perfect gift for a child as it is both aesthetically pleasing and educational--what parent could want more in a children's book?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent math resource Dec 19 2007
By Katydid
I have used this book with my students to help with the concept of doubling. It really captured their imaginations and they went on to write their own stories about doubling, tripling etc. It is really quite amazing how quickly you can get to a billion by doubling!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story! July 23 2003
By A Customer
Just wondering if anyone can give us all information on when this book will be available again. It is one of the best storys with the most beautiful pictures for young and old alike. It is a classic that will always be on top of my list!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for young kids! Jan. 6 2002
When I was little, this was one of my favorite books. I loved the way the one grain of rice would turn into over ten billion! Every kid from 1st-4th grade will love this! Its fun to read and a great math lesson! Hope you enjoy this sweet book!
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