Zen Shorts by Jon Muth.
Scholastic Press: NY, 2005.
Caldecott Honor 2006

Michael, Addy and Karl meet Stillwater, the giant panda for the first time. Each of them comes to visit Stillwater on different days. On each visit he teaches through telling stories, and they share companionship. He tells Addy of his Uncle Ry who gives gifts for his own birthday. He tells Michael about a farmer who takes things as they come, not believing in bad luck or good. Then, he tells Karl of a monk who carries is bad humor around with him for hours.

I like that each lesson is told through a different visit, and each is initiated by their conversations. All of the lessons are important. None easy in practice. So, worth a reminder through many reads.

Jon Muth's watercolor illustrations are gorgeous. I like their quiet beauty, their playfulness, their simplicity and focus. The different style for the storytellings helps in following the change of course in the storyline. My favorite pictures are the cover art, Addy and Stillwater eating cake, and Michael and Stillwater looking down through the tree.

related-bears, pandas, brothers and sisters, storytelling, giving, friendship, dealing with anger, balance in life
RL=1st-3rd, mostly read aloud to toddler-3rd

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