The Nightingale

When he learns that the nightingale’s song is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world, the Emperor of China sends his courtiers to find the bird and present it as a guest at court. The nightingale can speak to humans and agrees to come, but when the Emperor receives a mechanical nightingale covered in jewels, he discards the real bird, which flies back to its home. Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved story in which a king learns humility from a bird was written in 1843 to honor Jenny Lind, the famous opera singer dubbed the Swedish Nightingale. This new edition of the childhood favorite features shimmering color illustrations by Russian artist Igor Oleynikov.

A 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!