Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zen Shorts Review

Jon J. Muth's book "Zen Shorts" is one of the most amazing children's books that I've come across.
It's beautifully illustrated with simple water colors, and it's about a large panda bear who befriends three children. There are three stories with stories within each one. The panda relates life lessons in a simple way. There's such a slowness and serenity, which stands out from the hectic hysteria of a Dr Seuss book.
They touch the values of simplicity (we're rich because we have the moon, not materials), letting go of bitterness and understanding life's every changing plan. The stories are illustrated with animals as the lead characters.
We picked this book from the library, and I started quoting those parables to my husband in an effort to pass along some of the wisdom. That's the beauty of this book - it's not just for children.
When I had a chance to buy the book, I snatched it up. When I'm in Barnes & Noble and I see someone looking for a book to buy for a new baby or young child, I always recommend "Zen Shorts" as a keepsake.


Sumita said...

Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like a keeper. I'll have to look for it at the library.
Plus both my kids are really into pandas these days.

ZenDenizen said...

Obligatory stupid comment from me:

I've never found a pair of shorts I really liked.


Anonymous said...

Sumita - For pandas, we have "Ping Won't Share" about a panda who betrays his friends and doesn't regret it until they leave him. A real page turner! :-)

Zen - I agree! Though, I did find a cute one at Target this summer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Indigo, i did get this book from the library, and without your insight, i wouldnt have paid attention to this beautiful book. upfront, it lookslike any other book, with good pictures and bland story telling. you made me look deeper into the book and i am still zenning it out !! kudos, thank you , you inspirational friend .
right now, i am listening to palace of illusions by divakaruni, a real page turner, if you havent read it, this is the time :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you looked into this book! The stories stay with you - and if you're in my house, you'll read this 10 more times.

Anonymous said...

which book did you mean, chitra or zen ? :)
If its chitra, I want her to write one on Ramayana now :) and then the Bhagavatha perhaps !!. She has made such rich literature accessible to the common man