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review 2018-02-25 03:07
Two of Everything
Two of Everything - Lily Toy Hong

Before reading this text, I was unfamiliar with the Chinese folktale. The story tells the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Haktak and their magic pot - a pot that will give them two of everything. This story is so clever and teaches young readers about modesty. I would incorporate this book into a writing center! I would allow students to write about what they might want to drop into the pot, or if they would want to use it all! This book could also be incorporated into math lessons to help students learn about doubles. One such activity calls for the usage of a mirror, so students can actually visualize what doubling is. This activity can be found here: https://illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=3294


Lexile - AD620L

DRA - 30

AR - 3.5

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review 2016-10-24 08:17
One Grain of Rice by Demi
One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale - Demi

Genre:  Math / India / Folktale / Royalty

Year Published: 1997

Year Read:  2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press



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


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review 2016-03-14 22:08
One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale - Demi

One Grain of Rice is a visually amazing book which tells the story of a young girl who, by way of some brilliant math, solves the famine in her village one grain of rice at a time. I would use this book in my classroom during a discussion about doubling, multiplication, or to strike interest in my students for the importance of math in everyday situations. This book would, in most cases, be best used as a read aloud as it does have a higher reading level than interest level. This book has a Scholastic Reading Grade Level Equivalent of 4.2. 

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review 2015-12-20 02:36
The Legend of the Morning Star by Elizabeth McCoy
The Legend of the Morning Star - Elizabeth McCoy

I'm not sure what you'd call this. A fantasy world's folktale? Myth? Anyway, “The Legend of the Morning Star” is the story of how Kiro, the servant of the sun god Alyyon, fell in love with a beautiful human girl named Kasinda and defied his master. It also tells the story of how a particular star came to be created. It's set in the same universe as McCoy's story “The Bear Prince,” which means it'd be a story characters in McCoy's Lord Alchemist series might tell each other. However, it's not necessary to have read any of that in order to enjoy this story.

I can't really say much about this except that I really enjoyed it and think it's better than the fantasy folktales/fairy tales in McCoy's The Bear Prince collection. And, unlike that collection, this story is free.

Also, although it was jarring at first, I loved that the narrator occasionally interrupted the story in order to make a few comments. It gave me a mental vision of someone talking to a Lord Alchemist series version of the Brothers Grimm.


The story ends with an “author's afterword” that confirms that, yes, this does take place in the same world as “The Bear Prince.” Also, there's a tiny “about the narrator” section that gives the story's narrator a name. I thought the narrator, Ches, was maybe in Herb-Wife, but I wasn't able to find that character. However, Kessa and Iathor did have a Wind priest at their wedding.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-08-08 22:31
The Green Frogs by Yumi Heo
The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale - Yumi Heo

Genre: Folktale / Korea/ Family / Manners

Year Published: 1996

Year Read:  1997

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company 




I have read many folktales from Russia, China, and Africa, but never have I heard a folktale from Korea. While I was searching for some children’s books in the library, I stumbled upon a book called “The Green Frogs.” At first, I thought that this was going to be a comedic story; however, I was awed at how serious yet true this story really is. “The Green Frogs” is a great story about facing the trials that each parent goes through whenever their child misbehaves and the guilty conscious that the child suffers through whenever their parents are gone. Since, this story has many Korean aspects; it is surely to be another classic folktale from around the world.


Yumi Heo does an excellent job at retelling and illustrating the escapades of the two green frogs and their mother. Yumi Heo’s retelling of an ancient Korean folktale has a great moral about the consequences of disobeying your parents as the green frogs regretted the fact that they have caused their mother nothing but grief over the years and the somewhat sad realization that Mother Frog never knew that her sons had listen to her for once in their lives. Yumi Heo’s illustrations are as creative as they are simplistic. The frogs are displayed with rounded heads and large mouths and Heo adds an assortment of plants and flies on the background to give the story a chaotic sense since the two frogs are actually chaotic throughout the entire story.


“The Green Frogs” is a fantastic Korean folktale about the importance of listening to your parents and the reality that a child would face whenever their parent passes away and they spend most of their lives regretting all the horrible acts they have committed against their parent. This book is extremely pleasant to read and is appropriate for children ages four and over, even though this book does discuss the death of a parent and how it has affected to the sons in this story.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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