Can anyone help me identify this book I read at school during the early 2000s?

The children’s book was about a poor boy who goes to cut grass in a field every day. A certain area of the field grows grass quicker than the other areas, and when the boy goes to that area he finds a magic stone and takes it home with him. The stone increases whatever object it’s put in. The boy puts the stone in a nearly empty jar of rice, the next day the jar is full of rice. At the end of the book, the boy gets greedy and accidentally swallows the stone and becomes a dragon.


2 Answers 2


Li Jian's The Water Dragon seems to match.

Cover of The Water Dragon

Long ago, in a remote village in China, there lived a kind and generous little boy. He spent his days in the forest, collecting wood to trade for food. One day, the boy made a wondrous discovery: a magic stone that caused his money jar and rice crocks to overflow, both of which he shared with the poor villagers.But strange things began to happen. It no longer rained. The crops died. The rivers dried up. A terrible drought had struck and would not release its grip. The brave young boy, full of dreams of a white, water-spewing Dragon, took his magic stone on a journey—and discovered how to save his village.

Found by searching for children's book "swallows the stone" dragon, which led to this review, which mentions swallowing the stone.

The story of the Water Dragon begins with a young boy, named Ah Bao, who finds a mysterious red stone. He discovers the stone is magical and uses it to help his neighbors in his small village. But no rain falls in the village, everything is slowly drying up, and the red stone’s magic cannot help. Urged by a dream, Ah Bao sets out on a journey to find the water dragon. He makes friends along the way who warn him of a terrible greedy red monster. Ah Bao eventually encounters the monster, who tries to take the red stone. In desperation, Ah Bao swallows the stone and jumps into sea. There he turns into the water dragon, and is able to save his village.


It's The Dragon's Pearl (1993) by Julie Lawson.

From Goodreads:

Life is hard for Xiao Sheng and his mother, until one day he finds a magic pearl that brings them good luck and forever changes Xiao Sheng's destiny.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to the site. Could you edit your answer to explain why you think The Dragon's Pearl is the correct book though? The OP has already accepted The Water Dragon by Li Jian as the correct answer, as denoted by the green tick to the left of Fuzzyboot's answer. Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 20:22
  • Another encouragement to expand the answer. Despite the approved answer - this story being published in 1993 makes it have a decent chance of being a story read in "early 2000s" versus a book published in 2012. The two stories appear to be based on the same folklore story - based only on the summaries. Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 12:57

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