Lauren Thompson, ONE RIDDLE, ONE ANSWER Lauren. , $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-31335-3

The learned daughter of a Persian sultan takes center stage in Thompson's (Love One Another: The Last Days of Jesus) feminist tale with a mathematical twist. When it comes time for Aziza to marry, the clever young woman calls on her love of numbers and riddles to devise a means of finding a husband. "Let me pose a riddle.... The riddle has but one true answer. Whoever can answer the riddle will be the one I would be happiest to marry," she tells her father. After an astronomer, a soldier and a merchant each supply an answer that solves only one portion of the riddle, a humble farmer gets all four parts right and wins Aziza's hand. Thompson chooses her riddle wisely, since it presents a challenge for her audience, yet perspicacious readers can solve it by themselves. As the successful suitor explains his numerical solution to the riddle, Wingerter works the relevant numbers into her stylized acrylic paintings, which also incorporate Persian patterns and designs. The author's concluding note provides the thinking behind the problem's solution as well as a short history of Persia's contribution to our own numerical system. In sum, the volume's well-balanced narrative and art add up to an original fairy tale with an appealing dimension. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)