The Empty Pot

( 20 )

Overview

The Chinese Emperor announces an unusual test to choose an heir--the child who raises the best flowers from a seed given by the Emperor will be his successor. Ping, unaccountably, is unable to get his seed to sprout--but Ping's empty pot is best of all. Full-color illustrations.

When Ping admits that he is the only child in China unable to grow a flower from the seeds distributed by the Emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty.

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Overview

The Chinese Emperor announces an unusual test to choose an heir--the child who raises the best flowers from a seed given by the Emperor will be his successor. Ping, unaccountably, is unable to get his seed to sprout--but Ping's empty pot is best of all. Full-color illustrations.

When Ping admits that he is the only child in China unable to grow a flower from the seeds distributed by the Emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ping is a Chinese boy with an emerald green thumb; he can make anything grow ``as if by magic.'' One day the Emperor announces that he needs a successor, someone who can carry on after he is gone with the ruling of the kingdom and the growing of the flowers. He gives each child one seed, and the one who grows the best flower will take over after him. Competition is fierce, and Ping is heartbroken that nothing comes up, despite his careful tending. On the day of the competition, he is the only child with an empty pot; all the others brings lush plants. But the Emperor has tricked everyone by distributing cooked seeds, unable to grow; and Ping, with his empty pot, is the only honest gardener--and the winner. Extraordinarily delicate Oriental landscapes in round frames show Chinese architecture, foliage, native birds and clothing in a delightful way. And the story contains an important lesson on the worth of individual strength and honesty. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- When the Chinese emperor proclaims that his successor will be the child who grows the most beautiful flowers from the seeds the emperor distributes, Ping is overjoyed. Like the emperor, he loves flowers and anything he plants bursts into bloom. But the emperor's seed will not grow, despite months of loving care, and Ping goes before the emperor carrying only his empty pot. The emperor ignores the beautiful blossoms brought by the other children and chooses Ping, revealing that the seeds he handed out had been cooked and could not grow. This simple story with its clear moral is illustrated with beautiful paintings. Each page contains a single picture, shaped like a stiff, rounded, paper fan and framed in celadon brocade that subtly changes pattern from one spread to the next. Isometric perspective, traditional Chinese architecture, and landscape motifs are combined with Demi's fine line and lively children and animals. While all the landscapes featuring the emperor and the other children are in brilliant red, gold, and purple, the scenes involving Ping alone are predominantly beige and delicate green. Ping is almost always shown as a solitary figure in contrast to the busy groups of running, smiling children, reinforcing theportrait of him as a quieter, more contemplative person whose values make him a worthy heir to the emperor. A beautifully crafted book that will be enjoyed as much for the richness of its illustrations as for the simplicity of its story. --Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Public Library
From the Publisher
"When the Chinese Emperor announces an unusual test to choose an heir—the child who raises the best flowers from a seed given by the Emperor will be his successor—Ping, unaccountably, is unable to get his seed to sprout. . . . A lovely story, well told and most attractively presented."—Kirkus Reviews, pointer

"A beautifully crafted book that will be enjoyed as much for the richness of its illustrations as the simplicity of its story."—School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805049008
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 33,813
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.85 (w) x 10.11 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Demi is the author and illustrator of many children's books, including Firebird, Buddha, The Dalai Lama and The Dragon’s Tale. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she lives in Carnation, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2006

    A Wonderful & Memorable Children's Folk Tale!

    If you are looking for good books for your children that do NOT place an emphasis on physical appearance (e.g., a Barbi image), a gamble and/or other inadvertantly or advertently poor teachings found in books such as 'Cinderella,' then 'The Empty Pot' would make a great purchase for you. 'The Empty Pot' is a simple story that teaches how valuable honesty is. It is a moral that not only children should be imbued with, but one that parents and all adults could stand to be reminded of. Also, 'The Empty Pot' is a folk tale, which usually means it teaches a moral, unlike a fairy tale, which does not and may have a negative impact rather than just stimulating imagination. As a parent, it would behoove you to do searches for books under folk tales rather than fairy tales and to skim through them prior to purchase, as not all folk tales are of equal value. 'The Empty Pot' is one of the best folk tales that I've come across in my search to buy great books for my extended family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2014

    I heard this story a long time ago on a TV show. I have loved th

    I heard this story a long time ago on a TV show. I have loved the idea of honesty being rewarded and the young ones learning to be honest. I love the pictures and the emotion they convey.

    I love the simple lessons in this book. I would recommend it to anyone, young or old. I really love this story.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    Everyone should read this book.

    I like this book. Because its a cool book. It is a really good story because it has cool pictures. Also the book was about flowers ,and I like flowers.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    MARVELLOUS!!!! YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT!!!

    Brilliant book!!!

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    Wonderful Chinese Fable For Children About The rewards of being honest

    I have always loved this story ever since I purchased the softcover version years ago. Your online bookstore was the only place I could purchase the hardcover version as an addition to my home library. The book may seem a little over priced but in addition to the wonderful story it contains beautiful artwork.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    THE EMPTY POT

    This is an excellent story depicting the rewards of honesty, hard work, and perseverence. One may think it's merely a children's story, but the moral is for all of us. I've gifted this book to several young parents who know the importance of reading to their little ones at an early age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Great Book

    This book is wonderfu. It shows the value of honesty. I recommend this book for anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    What a great moral read for children

    This is such a great book that has charming illustrations along with the wonderful story that teaches complete honesty. Probably more of a favorite for me than my children, but they do enjoy it to - and are getting the underlying moral message.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2007

    Honesty always wins out

    Looking for a successor, the emperor gives children seeds to grow flowers and whomsoever grows the best flower wins the throne. However, the seeds are bogus and can't grow, and Ping is the only child who admits he couldn't grow his seed into a flower. Honesty wins out and this is a great book to teach kids not to be dishonest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    A story worth telling

    This is a wonderful tale that promotes traits that are needed in our world today: doing your very best and honesty . . . things that are often hard to come by. I highly recommend this book to parents and schoolteachers alike. My favorite quote from the book is from the father of Ping, 'You did your best, and your best is good enough to present to the emperor.'

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2000

    A wonderful book about Honesty

    The story of Ping and his empty pot is inspiring to children letting them know that if you try your best and don't come out #1 you still win. It also echos the virtue 'Honesty is the best policy'

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted April 17, 2014

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