TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Rajani LaRocca

Rajani LaRocca on Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math

In this post, we feature author Rajani LaRocca, whose previous titles include the novel Midsummer’s Mayhem. You can hear her speak about the inspiration for her new picture book, Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Author Rajani LaRocca and the cover of her book Seven Golden Rings.

Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math

  • Written byRajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
  • Published by Lee & Low Books
  • Release date: October 27, 2020

In ancient India, a boy named Bhagat travels to the Rajah’s city, hoping to ensure his family’s prosperity by winning a place at the Rajah’s court as a singer. Bhagat carries his family’s entire fortune—a single coin and a chain of seven golden rings—to pay for his lodging. But when the innkeeper demands one ring per night, and every link snipped costs one coin, how can Bhagat both break the chain and avoid overpaying? His inventive solution points the way to an unexpected triumph, and offers readers a clever, enjoyable introduction to binary numbers—the root of all computing.

An interior spread from Seven Golden Rings showing the exterior of the Rajah's palace.
An interior spread from Seven Golden Rings showing the main character, Bhagat, first working hard to carry wood during the day and then singing at home at night.

Explore Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math

Listen to Rajani LaRocca talking with TeachingBooks about creating Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.

Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Rajani LaRocca.

Imagination Activity with Rajani LaRocca

Action! In order to get deeper into a character, to understand what they want and need, I often think about verbs that go with that character. For example, a character who is a dancer might glide, spin, twirl, twist, or whirl as she goes about her day, while one who is a musician might tap, count, sing, hum, or sway, and one who is a baker might whip, inhale, taste, roll, or mix. Think of a character from a story that you’re writing or reading and come up with a list of five verbs or actions that the character might do. Can you draw your character doing these things?

Finish This Sentence . . . with Rajani LaRocca

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Rajani LaRocca’s response.

“My protagonist can’t live without . . .”

My protagonist can’t live without music! Bhagat loves music more than anything. In fact, he keeps himself company during his long journey in Seven Golden Rings by listening to a rhythm in his head. I love to listen to my favorite tunes (often songs from when I was a kid!) while I’m in the car or while I’m cooking, and I find that music keeps me company, too.

A surprising thing that helps me write is . . .”

A surprising thing that helps me write is moving! Some of my best ideas come after I exercise or walk my dog, Boomer (see the photo below), or even after I exercise and get in the shower! There’s something about moving and thinking about something else that makes creative ideas flow.

Author Rajani LaRocca's dog.

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Rajani LaRocca for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of Seven Golden Rings, signed by the author Rajani LaRocca with the message, "Happy Reading!"

More Connections to Rajani LaRocca and Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math

Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Rajani LaRocca, Archana Sreenivasan, and Lee & Low Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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