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children's 4-8

Zen Ghosts

 
 
Author
Jon J Muth.
Publisher Scholastic  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 11.25 x 10.75 x 0.35 inches
ISBN 9780439634304
Pages/Publication Date 40/2010
Daedalus Item Code 60579
This item is not available.
Description
An Eisner Award–winning cartoonist and graphic novel author, Jon J Muth was inspired by his own growing family to begin writing children's books—in particular, the adventures of an enormous yet gentle panda named Stillwater, which began with the Caldecott Honor Book Zen Shorts. This Halloween-themed tale is the third in the series, written for readers up to 10 and illustrated with finely drawn, poetically composed watercolors. Stillwater's human friends Addy, Michael, and Karl have just finished trick-or-treating on a beautiful autumn night when he introduces them to an oddly familiar visitor—one with a mysterious ghost story that is also full of Buddhist thought and wonder.

"Stillwater himself—who said he would be a ghost this Halloween—is at times almost transparent, and his round, white bamboo lantern mimics the full moon. Inside his house is another panda who looks exactly like Stillwater. His story, which is told in words and brush-and-ink drawings, is based on an old Zen koan, or puzzle, about a young woman who is with her husband in a faraway land and yet very ill and at home with her parents. It invites listeners to consider duality, or perception vs. reality, and is at the same time a wonderfully haunting tale.... When the story ends and the illustrations return to the earlier complex, evocative watercolors, it isn't clear whether Stillwater and the storyteller are two entities or one. The children and readers are left to consider this and other mysteries as both tales come to a close. Muth's artistic gifts are so breathtaking that they will draw in even those whose attention spans are not at first up to the demands of the text. The book functions on many levels, from seasonal Halloween story to ghost yarn to deep philosophy, and succeeds spectacularly on all of them."—School Library Journal

 
 
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