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One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale…

One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale (edition 1997)

by Demi, Demi (Illustrator)

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5924716,592 (4.19)1
Title:One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
Other authors:Demi (Illustrator)
Info:Scholastic Press (1997), Hardcover, 40 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:@read, 2012, mathematics, childrens book, picture book, India, @own, fiction

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One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi

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BCCB Blue Ribbon Book (1997)
Shalom Readers Club Book List (Grade 3-5)
math, folklore, acts of kindness, trickery
Ways to use this book:
*Use as example of folklore
*Use to prompt discussion of acts of kindness
*Read this and a trickster tale. Compare. Did the main character act in the way a trickster does?
*Use for math class ( )
  tawnyao | Jul 17, 2015 |
In this story, the ruler of a town in India hoards the peoples' rice and refuses to pass out the rice when his people are in need. He rewards the girl for returning some rice to him and she tricks him by asking him for a grain of rice and doubling the amount of rice every day. She is eventually able to pass out rice to the entire town, even the ruler.

Being a math major, this obvious intro to a math lesson intrigues me.

1. The students could be introduced to lower level multiplication with this book.
2. The students could be asked to find India on a map and assess the differences between the lifestyle in the book and their own.
  vhein | Jul 9, 2015 |
Summary of the book

There was a Raja who lived in India, he ordered all the people of India to give him most of their rice so he could store it in case of a famine. One year later a famine hit and the people were hungry but,the Raja would not pass out the rice like he promised. One day a village girl named Roni made a deal with the Raja and tricked him into giving her all of the rice. She then passed it out to all of the hungry people in the village; she even left a basket for the Raja.

Personal Reaction

I really did not have a personal connection to this book. However, I really liked the pictures, they were very precise and detailed. I also, really enjoyed the lesson behind this book.


We could all locate India on the map one by one. Each student that was not locating India on the map would have to have they back facing the board, and one by one the students could come up to the map and see if they could find India without any help, or hints.

After all the students knew where India was on the map we could play pin the star on India. One by one each student would be blind folded and we could see who could pion the star closes to India.

There were different animals in the book that carried the large baskets of rice. We could research what kinds of animals are popular in India. We could also look up the animals there and compare them to the animals we see here in America.
  A_Kolinski | Jul 8, 2015 |
In the story of One Grain of Rice, an Indian village's ruler, the Raja, demands that he is portioned the majority of rice harvested by all rice farmers, so that very little is left to the villagers. He claims to be saving the rice in his royal store room in the event of a famine. A village girl returns some of the spilled rice to the Raja, and he rewards in the manner of her choice. She asks to be given one grain of rice, then two, then four, doubling the number of rice grains per day for thirty days until she has all the Raja's rice.

This book's goal was primarily to demonstrate the smallness of the girl's request, but also the impact it had and how quickly the rice added up simply by doubling the amount. There were relatively few words per page; they were dedicated to explaining the updated about of rice on day x. The pages were illustrated with pack animals carrying packs of rice, making it easy to count along with the additions. This was a very good book which demonstrates not only math, but how the simple cleverness of the main character triumphed over the selfishness of the Raja.

This would obviously be a good tool to make a math lesson more visual and interesting. The illustrations could be printed off and used in a worksheet, or an activity could be planned where children add pieces of items to piles as the story progresses, though not in the hundreds and millions.
  CallieHennessee | Jul 2, 2015 |
This book is a classic story that i have grown up with. I liked this book for its mathematical plot and its creative illustrations. The story is about a girl who tricks the Raja into giving her an exponential amount of rice every day. This story not only tells a fun tale but also teaches about exponents in a subtle way. This book also has a unique illustration style. The illustrations are in the style of traditional Indian art. This style is very colorful and simplistic but also very beautiful. For example, on the page that says that the raja collected almost all of the rice and put it in his palace, there is a simple picture of the raja on an elephant in front of his red and white palace. The main idea of this book is overcoming hardship. ( )
  pduste1 | Apr 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 059093998X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:16 -0400)

A reward of one grain of rice doubles day by day into millions of grains of rice when a selfish raja is outwitted by a clever village girl.

(summary from another edition)

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