Zen Ties

by Jon J. Muth

This follow-up to Zen Shorts (Scholastic Press, 2005) once again features... read more

This follow-up to Zen Shorts (Scholastic Press, 2005) once again features the giant panda (literally) Stillwater and human siblings Karl, Addie, and Michael. The story introduces Stillwater’s nephew, Koo, who speaks in statements of seventeen syllables (“Hi, Koo!”), but the plot centers on the children’s relationship—or lack of relationship—with their older neighbor Miss Whitaker. She yells at them; they don’t like her. But Stillwater, who likes them all, intervenes, bringing the four together. He encourages them to move beyond perceptions to knowledge, and soon the retired teacher and the three children are sharing the gifts of friendship, wisdom, and small acts of kindness. Jon J Muth’s lovely watercolor illustrations convey both the weight and whimsy of a story that is gently pointed and filled with charm. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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