- Written by: Demi
- Illustrated by: Demi
- Published by: Square Fish
- Suggested grade level: 1st – 2nd
A wonderful story about the importance of telling the truth. Ping is the subject of a Chinese emperor who is exceptionally gifted at growing things. When it is time for the old king to choose his successor, he tests the children of the land by giving them each a seed to cultivate and bring to him within a year. Ping is unable to get this seed of all seeds to grow, and brings his empty pot to the king, whereupon the king reveals his wisdom in a surprise ending.
This is an aesthetic, moral story with an enjoyable mystery and very nice illustrations. Caring for plants is a central part of the story, and the ability to get a plant flourish may be symbolic for nurturing a kingdom. Although he gives his best, Ping fails at getting the seed to grow. Nevertheless, he demonstrates courage in presenting his empty pot, and his honesty is well rewarded.