Title: Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math
Author: Rajani LaRocca
Illustrator: Archana Sreenivasan
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, October 27, 2020
Book Type: STEM, Multicultural
Long ago there lived a kind rajah who ruled over vast lands. He loved music, and gathered the finest players and singers to perform in his court. But the rajah had no interest in planning or calculating, and did not manage his kingdom’s food stores and accounts. And so his people suffered.
In ancient India, a boy named Bhagat travels to the Rajah’s city, hoping to ensure his family’s prosperity by winning a place at court as a singer. Bhagat carries his family’s entire fortune–a single coin and a chain of seven golden rings–to pay for his lodging. But when the innkeeper demands one ring per night, and every link snipped costs one coin, how can Bhagat both break the chain and avoid overpaying? His inventive solution points the way to an unexpected triumph, and offers readers a friendly lesson in binary numbers–the root of all computing.
- Activity Guide containing Math, Social Studies/Geography prompts and more!
- YouTube Video from Socratica Kids on Binary Numbers
Why I Like This Book:
An engaging and informative book that is sure to get those curiosity gears turning. What a clever way of explaining the complex topic of the binary numbers.
The story follows Bhagat on his journey to the city to win favor with the king. However, he only has seven golden rings and must find a way to judiciously use those rings on lodging without over paying. Through ingenuity he develops a method (binary system) to do just that! His cleverness earns him a position as the king’s adviser.
I loved the author’s folktale-sy narrative style that reminded me of one of my favorite picture books, One Grain of Rice, a book that also involves Indian folklore and math. The art is colorful, charming, and delightful. There is extensive backmatter explaining the decimal and binary number systems. This is a must for classrooms and libraries.
This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.