logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Heart Disease
Horror Literature
Dating
Hiking & Backpacking
SF/Fantasy Books
Healthy Foods
Crafts for Kids


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Buddhism Site

BellaOnline's Buddhism Editor

g

Zen Ghosts - Children's Book Review


Zen GhostsOctober means Halloween, and although Buddhism might not be the first thing you associate with this holiday, author Jon J. Muth has created a lovely new children’s book that connects the two. Zen Ghosts is the third of three books by Muth that feature Stillwater, a gentle, giant, koan-speaking Panda. All three books also feature the same three siblings - Karl, Addy and Michael.

In Zen Ghosts, the three children are getting ready for Halloween when Stillwater drops by their house, offering to go trick-or-treating with them, and promising to take them to a storyteller for a ghost story afterward. All Muth books have amazing pictures, and Zen Ghosts is especially beautiful and fun. One two-page spread features a beautiful full moon and dozens of children in a riot of different Halloween costumes.

After trick-or-treating, the children follow Stillwater to the storyteller, who looks suspiciously like Stillwater himself. The children wonder if it is, and this theme of 'what is real?' repeats throughout the book, forming the basis for the gentle connection between Zen Buddhism and Halloween. The storyteller tells the children a Japanese ghost story based on a koan from The Gateless Gate, a classic koan collection. In it, a young girl facing an arranged marriage flees her parents, eloping instead with her childhood love. The story has a unique twist that again probes the theme of non-duality and reality.

Some may feel that the koan-based ghost-story-within-the-story is too sophisticated for a young children’s picture book, dealing as it is does with arranged marriage, elopement, and a young girl running from her parents. Personally, I feel that it reads like a fairy tale, and is no more difficult for children to process than fire-breathing dragons or captured princesses. Certainly, a parent will need to help explain some elements, and most children will be somewhat confused by the 'what is real?' sub-text. But part of the sign of a good book for me is that it triggers discussion and questions, and - in fine Zen tradition - even confusion.

So I highly recommend Zen Ghosts for the children in your life, particularly those aged 4-8 or so. Consider bringing some Zen into your Halloween!

Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Twitter Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Facebook Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to MySpace Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Del.icio.us Digg Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Yahoo My Web Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Google Bookmarks Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Stumbleupon Add Zen+Ghosts+%2D+Children%27s+Book+Review to Reddit




Buddhism Children's Book Shop
Teaching Children Mindfulness and Meditation
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Buddhism Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Erickson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Erickson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Erickson for details.

g


g features
Vesak or Saga Dawa - Celebrating the Buddha

Jomo Memo - 13th Century Tibetan 'Terton'

Intro to Buddhism and Buddhist Meditation Ebook

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor