Wednesday, October 6, 2010
ZEN GHOSTS by John Muth
My son and I eagerly await John Muth's Stillwater books and I'm so thrilled to have this latest effort, ZEN GHOSTS, which takes place during my favorite time of year, Autumn and Halloween. Stillwater, the giant panda is my most adored contemporary children's book character. But these books are obviously not just for children.
Addy, Michael and Karl, featured in the prior books, are getting ready for Halloween. Stillwater joins them for festivities and reads the children a story by candlelight. The vibe of the book is both cozy and mysterious.
As you can tell from the cover, the illustrations are magical. There is a two page spread depicting trick or treating that is magnificent, so visually the book is incredible, and perhaps the most striking one of the series to date.
The Buddhist theme is appropriate for young children as they can be even more receptive to subtle teachings than adults. In some ways, a koan is more accessible to a child. As with the other two Stillwater books, Zen Ties and Zen Shorts, this is a story within a story and this one goes pretty deep. What genius to contemplate illusion in a Halloween setting! What is real and what is not real? "Which Senjo is the true one? Are they one or are they two?" This book works on many different levels and I can't get enough of it. Find it HERE.