Books by Junko Morimoto

Released: May 4, 1995

Though Martin (The Boy Who Lived with the Seals, 1993) and Soares have selected 18 anecdotes from the lives and writings of the Zen Masters with young readers in mind, most pieces have layers of meaning that may only be revealed after shared reading and discussion (not to mention a lifetime of study). Nonetheless, they shine with the humor, drama, and apparent paradox that characterizes much of Zen teaching. When their tiger dies, a zoo hires a beggar to don the skin. The deception works quite well and the beggar is pleased with his new home, until a lion is released into the cage. Seeing the moon shining through a cherry tree in full bloom, Rengetsu composes a poem thanking the hard-hearted villagers who forced her to sleep in the open. Other stories feature samurai, famous sages, and children—helping adults, being helped, or both. In a dazzling variety of styles, sizes, and composition schemes, Morimoto (My Hiroshima, 1987) gives each tale a unique visual identity without sacrificing the book's overall unity of design. Two beautiful, artfully placed full spreads—one, a wordless landscape, and the other, Rengetsu's poem—invite readers to pause a bit and ponder. The lack of source notes or suggestions for further reading are the only minor blemishes on this lovely, lively gathering. (Folklore. 10+) Read full book review >