The Empty Pot
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The Empty Pot

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4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,996 ratings  ·  280 reviews
An IRA-CBC Children's Choice.

An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists."


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.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 15th 1996 by Square Fish (first published January 1st 1990)
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Miss Rumphius by Barbara CooneyThe Curious Garden by Peter  BrownThe Gardener by Sarah StewartPlanting a Rainbow by Lois EhlertGrandpa Green by Lane Smith
Picture Books About Gardens
9th out of 169 books — 76 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
414th out of 3,046 books — 4,443 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,843)
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midnightfaerie
A great educational book for your children of all ages. My 5 yr old loved it as well as my 3 yr old twins. Lots of good information with beautiful pictures that will help keep children engaged. It was recommended as additional reading to my child's history lesson on China, and we all loved it. This legend from China is a wonderful story even adults will love. You'll also appreciate the subtle lesson embedded in the book. Can't wait to pick up more by Demi. A great addition to any children's libr...more
Karen
The Empty Pot by Demi demonstrates an authentic experience of a Chinese boy named Ping. The author was not born in China, but her inner perspective of the culture becomes evident in her book. The story takes place in China. The book shows Chinese children and an Emperor. The illustrations are colorful, accurate and true to the time period portrayed, and all details of each illustration are chronologically accurate.

As we read the book it moves us into Ping’s experience on trying so hard to get a...more
Shanna Gonzalez
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 wi...more
Sheeba Virani
Wow, one of the best children's books that I have read! This book emphasizes the fact that it is important to do your best always. If you have honestly worked hard and tried your best you will succeed. It shows children how honesty and perseverance pays off for the little boy Ping and makes him emperor. It helps children understand the value of truth, hard work and courage.

Extension- Provide children with a small foam cup each labelled with their name. Help them plant some flower seeds. Explain...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
The Empty Pot was written and illustrated by Demi. It was published by Henry Holt and Company in 1990. The Empty Pot is a wonderful story about a young boy, Ping, who lived in China. Ping loved flowers, and he loved to grow flowers. One day, the Emperor of China declared that he needed to choose a successor. He decided that he was going to let the flowers decide who would be the next Emperor of China. He gave the children of China flower seeds to plant and explained that whoever could show the b...more
Lindsay
I have always really liked The Empty Pot! I read it aloud to my students each year to teach them both the importance of courage and honesty. While I plan to continue this tradition, I also plan on using this text to expand my students awareness to Chinese culture and discuss how the culture is represented in this story.

The Emperor of China, seeks finding is successor. Children are challenged to grow the best flowers in one year with the seeds they receive from the Emperor. Ping, the main charac...more
Ronyell
I have been reading many works by Demi lately and now I wish to share my excitement about a Chinese folktale I have recently read called “The Empty Pot.” “The Empty Pot” is a Chinese folktale by Demi which is about the Emperor of China making a proclamation throughout China that whoever can plant him the most beautiful flower will the successor for his throne. “The Empty Pot” is truly one of the most clever folktales about honesty that was ever created!

A Long time ago in China, there lived a boy...more
Heather Mcgrath
Summary:

"The Empty Pot" is a book set in China. A boy named Ping loved flowers. Everything he touched bloomed as if by magic. Everyone in the kingdom loved flowers too, even the Emperor. One day the Emperor decided he needed to find a successor to his throne. He came up with a plan to give each child in the kingdom a seed and see who could grow the best flower. The child who could grow the best flower would be who the Emperor would choose to succeed him. All of the children came to the palace to...more
Dolly
Dec 22, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale. We recently read The King and the Seed and saw a reference to this story. Once I saw that it was by Demi, I just knew we needed to borrow it right away. We enjoyed both stories and talked a little about the differences between the two. We loved the illustrations in this story and although we liked both tales very much, I think this is our favorite of the two.
Bethany
Wonderful book to use with students about the importance of being honest. I used this book in two language arts lessons to demostrate characters, the plot, the problem, and the conflict resoultion. We also used this story to teach what a moral of a story is all about. Finally, I created a story basket to teach the chiuldren about sequencing with this story. This is a great book to use in teaching. The students really take to it and try to understand. They wanted me to read it to them twice ina r...more
Amelia
The Empty Pot is a wonderfully written and illustrated Chinese folktale about a young boy named Ping. This story leaves its readers with a positive message about the value of being honest. The illustrations are colorful and delicately painted, making them look authentic to the painting of images and symbols done in the Chinese culture.

This book is a great to share with elementary aged children. Children will appreciate and relate to the trials Ping goes through to grow a flower from the seeds gi...more
Frances
1.This story is based on a fable form China.
2.This story would work well with a small group mainly because of its small graphics.
3.Fables can serve as moral messengers.




Learning Activity

I think that for a learning activity the chldren will enjoy making clay pots or pinch bowls. We will make pots like the one Bing had in the story. I would need to get the special harding clay for this project. Once we make the pots we will then paint them.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I absolutely love this story about being honest and putting forth one's best effort! It's my favorite of all Demi's books. I've used it in many story times, though with younger children I've had to add a bit of explanation to make the ending clear for them. Great story, highly recommended for everyone!
Jessica
The Empty Pot is a book that I have enjoyed reading over the years to my preschool classes. The underlying theme of the book is that when you are honest and hardworking, you will get your reward. It is a cute and short story that has the ability to maintain a child's interest. The pictures are simple and colorful. Occasionally, the library will have a "big book" version and that allows the children to see the details even better. When I used this particular book in my class before, I was able to...more
Christina Fisher
Not only are the illustrations in this book stunningly beautiful, but the message about honesty is a great one. I actually found a read aloud online by the author, Demi, herself, which would be neat for students in elementary school to hear - especially those who might be budding writers or even hesitant ones who need an extra push. The main character, Ping, is a boy who always grows the most beautiful flowers in China. The emperor announces that whoever can grow the most beautiful flowers from...more
Sarah
"The Empty Pot" by Demi is a well written historical fiction picture book. This book is about a young boy named Ping who fails to grow a flower after he is given a seed by the emperor. Sorrowfully he goes to tell the emperor that he has failed at his task. The emperor rewards him for being honest and he is given the emperor's kingdom. This book would be a great book to use in the elementary school classroom to teach about the importance of being honest and having courage. The illustrations help...more
Nancy
Published: 1990, Holt
Age: 6-9
This is the perfect children’s picture book. It is the story of Ping, a Chinese boy who loved to grow flowers. The Emperor also loves flowers and when he needs to find a successor to his throne he challenges the villagers to grow flowers from his special flower seeds. Whoever grows the most exquisite flower will take his place as emperor. All the children bring the emperor beautifully grown flowers except Ping, whose flower will not bloom no matter what he does. Fine...more
Maria Katrina
The Empty Pot is a traditional Chinese folktale about a young boy named Ping who loved flowers and could make any seed grow beautifully like magic. Everyone in the Kingdom loved flowers, including the Emperor who tended to his own garden. However, the Emperor has grown old and weak now needs a successor to this throne. He decides that he will choose his successor through a planting competition with a twist. A proclamation is issued exclaiming that all the children should come to the palace to be...more
Stephanie Gulliver
Summary: The Empty Pot is a children’s story about Ping, a young boy who loves to grow beautiful flowers. One day the Emperor decided to choose his successor by choosing a plant that each child in the kingdom had grown. Ping had been so good at growing flowers, until he tried to grow for the emperor. He appeared before him with an empty pot full of dirt. The pictures in this book are beautiful, especially when showing the flowers. It is not a simple illustration, but something very detailed.
Resp...more
Nicole Perez
I was blown away by the profoundness of this story book. And the first time I read it, I had no idea what was going to happen at the end. The message of honesty, courage and integrity was so beautifully woven into the story - a teaching so universal, this book should be a pleasure for all ages. As the emperor calls all children of the kingdom, for he is looking for a new emperor, he requests that they each grow a flower. The child with the most beautiful flower shall be the new emperor. Ping's g...more
Alexis
A very sweet story with a lesson about honesty and doing the best you can - and accepting that your best is good enough.

The Chinese Emperor is growing old and must choose a successor. He loves flowers more than anything, so he devises a plan to let the flowers decide which child shall be next to rule. A little boy named Ping also loves flowers, and is known for his green thumb. But when the seed the Emperor gives him doesn't grow, he must face what comes next with courage.

The artwork is very p...more
Ch13_julie
"The Empty Pot" by Demi Hitz is a simple story with a strong message. In this story the Chinese Emperor searches for his successor by putting the children of the land up to a test that will measure their honesty and character. The main character, Ping, struggles to complete the challenge given by the Emperor and is disappointed in himself. "The Empty Pot" is illustrated with beautiful and colorful pictures that portray the Chinese culture in a lovely light. This book would be a great book to use...more
Valerie
Summary
“The Empty Pot” is the story of Ping, a child who finds that honesty is the more important than winning a competition. The Emperor of China decides to hold a competition for all of the children in the nation. He gives them all a seed and tells them that whoever has the best plant at the end of the competition will be his successor. The illustrations in the book are colorful and seem to show Chinese culture very well. Instead of taking up the whole page, the pictures are inside circles in...more
Marianthi
Summary:
Demi does a very great job at portraying honesty in The Empty Pot. This book shows that being honest will always win and that being proud of what you have done is always enough. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and really showcase Asian culture very nicely.


Response:
I wanted to focus on the following quote on the last page:

"I admire Ping's great courage to appear before me with the empty truth,"

I think this quote sums up the meaning of this story. It takes courage to do what...more
Mia
The Empty Pot is a story about a young boy named Ping who lives in a kingdom in China where everyone loves flowers. The Emperor gives every child a seed and decides who ever can show their best in a months time will become the new emperor. Ping was disappointed to see that his best was only an empty pot, but was shocked by what the Emperor had to say about it. The illustrations are bright and educate children about Chinese culture.

I gave this book 5 star because of the moral to the story. I thi...more
Maryann
Summary:
The Empty Pot tells the story of a boy whose honesty and courage is praised and rewarded. Ping is a boy who has a passion for planting and taking care of flowers. He spends his days caring for his garden and pots of flowers. One day the emperor challenges all the boys in the kingdom to grow the most beautiful plant, and the boy the grows the most beautiful plant will be the next emperor. When Ping receives his seed, he is beyond excited to grow the most beautiful plant of all. For the n...more
Michelle Plucinski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ava
Summary
This story takes place in China. Ping was a young boy who always grew lovely plants and flowers. The Emperor decided that it was time to find a successor, so he gave each child special flower seeds. Ping planted his seed but it would not grow. A year later, everyone had beautiful flowers to present to the Emperor except for Ping. He had an empty pot. The Emperor had given each child cooked seeds that should not have grown. He was impressed by Ping’s honesty and made him the successor.

Res...more
Veronica Smith
Ping was a boy who grew up in China and had a real green thumb. The emperor loved flowers and tended to his garden every day but he was growing old. He needed to choose a successor to the throne very soon. He decided to call all of the children in the kingdom and they would be given special flower seeds and whoever has the best flower in a year will get the throne!
This news spread far and wide, all of the children wanted to be chosen so badly. Ping was so excited because he was such a great ga...more
Kristina Taylor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Life Lesson: Honesty is the best policy 2 6 Sep 16, 2012 05:14PM  
MCC Children's Li...: The Empty Pot 1 1 Mar 06, 2012 01:20AM  
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Demi (September 2, 1942) born Charlotte Dumaresq Hunt, is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. During her career she has published over 300 titles.

Demi was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the great-grand daughter of the American painter William Morris Hunt, and the great-grand niece of architect Richard Morris Hunt. Demi earned her nickname as a young child when her fa...more
More about Demi...
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