I am not sure where I got this book, I think it came with a set of books the school purchased, but I found it recently in a box of books in my garage so I really have no idea where it came from. :) I have never read this book and only happened to read it because on the cover is said, "A Mathematical Folktale from India". It has a focus on math all around us and the rule of doubling.
This book is great for multiplication (rule of doubling) and measurement. As the number of grains increases they use a teaspoon, bowl, wheelbarrow, etc. to full fill the little girl's request. As I was reading this I was thinking, could this really happen? I know the kids would ask the very same question! The last page in the book explains how, yes, this could happen.
I think it would be a great idea to give students a blank chess board, pencil, and a calculator to test out the rule of doubling. They could even start with different numbers in the first square as a challenge.
I created a free blank chess board if you would like to use it :)
*An interesting note: the copyright if this book is 1994, which is why the Twin Towers are used as the "pair of skyscrapers" and the Manhattan scene has the towers. This would be a great way tool to use to discuss 9-11 as well.