A Grain of Rice

Front Cover
Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1986 - Juvenile Fiction - 65 pages
3 Reviews
Over 200,000 copies sold! This classic mathematical folktale tells the story of a clever farmer who outwits the Emperor of China and becomes the wealthiest man in the world--all starting with one grain of rice.

When a humble farmer named Pong Lo asks for the hand of the Emperor's beautiful daughter, the Emperor is enraged. Whoever heard of a peasant marrying a princess?

But Pong Lo is wiser than the Emperor knows. And when he concocts a potion that saves the Princess's life, the Emperor gladly offers him any reward he chooses--except the Princess.

Pong Lo makes a surprising request. He asks for a single grain of rice, doubled every day for one hundred days. The baffled Emperor obliges--only to discover that if you're as clever as Pong Lo, you can turn a single grain of rice into all the wealth and happiness in the world!


Praise for A Grain of Rice:

"Gracefully illustrated. . . . This original story set in fifteenth-century China will captivate readers and perhaps teach them a little about mathematics." --Booklist

"Clever and quietly told in simple, yet evocative language." --Kirkus Reviews

"Any young reader (with calculator handy) will enjoy the tale." --Scientific American

"[A] book that is wise and humorous, and one to be perused and savored." --School Library Journal

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AbigailAdams26 - LibraryThing

When Pong Lo - the son of a humble farmer - appears before the Emperor of China to ask for Princess Chang Wu's hand in marriage, the mighty ruler is outraged. But his gentle daughter convinces her ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ElizaJane - LibraryThing

A lowly peasant asks to marry the princess and is scorned. However, the princess takes kindly to him and asks her father to hire him. So the peasant goes to work in the storeroom and such a friendly ... Read full review

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About the author (1986)

HELENA CLARE PITTMAN is the author of numerous books for children, including the acclaimed A Grain of Rice, The Snowman's Path, The Angel Tree, and Once When I Was Scared.

You can visit her at Helena Clare Pittman at helenaclarepittman.com.

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