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A Grain of Rice
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About the Author

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.

Reviews

In 15th-century China, a humble farmer outwits the Emperor--and wins his daughter's hand--with an ingenious request. Ages 7-11. (May)

Gr 3-8 An original story set on the grounds and in the palace of the Emperor of China during the 15th Century. Pong Lo, the son of a farmer, kneels in the Emperor's court to ask for his majesty's daughter's hand in marriage. Employed as a storeroom worker, Pong Lo sets about to prove that he is ``wise and quick and more than a little clever, and would make. . .as fine a prince as China has ever seen.'' Pittman invites readers into her story through her choice of concrete objects (e.g., the Imperial Storeroom), sensory images, and universal messages. She borrows from the motifs of oral literature, and also weaves in information about arithmetical progression and 15th-Century Chinese people, patterns, and traditions. Pittman's well executed pencil drawings ooze with emotion, and there is a fusion of text and illustrations. A picture book that is wise and humorous, and one to be perused and savored.Shelley G. McNamara, University of Maine, Farmington

A Bank Street Best Book of the Year for 9 to 12

"Gracefully illustrated with finely shaded drawings. . . . 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 "Pittman invites readers into her story through her choice of concrete objects, sensory images, and universal messages. She borrows from the motifs of oral literature, and also weaves in information about arithmetical progression and 15th-Century Chinese people, patterns, and traditions. Pittman's well executed pencil drawings ooze with emotion, and there is a fusion of text and illustrations . . . [A] book that is wise and humorous, and one to be perused and savored." --School Library Journal

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