It fills a niche for Buddhist families, but it’s not really for the uninitiated.



What better way to start off a good night’s sleep than with a nugget of ancient wisdom?

Scottish Buddhist monk Nagaraja presents a collection of 18 bedtime stories based on the Jakata Tales, folk tales featuring earlier incarnations of the Buddha. Each urges readers to “[r]elax, close your eyes, and imagine…” a specific scene or animal or person. This standard opening is followed by, “Do you want to know what happened? Then listen closely.” Each of the three-to-five-page tales is capped by a moral tied to a step on the Eightfold Noble Path, Buddha’s directives for overcoming suffering. A girl learns compassion when she’s magically made to feel the pain of a rabbit she’s injured. The tiny denizens of a desert willow learn their talents are important when they fend off larger animals by working together. The morals are succinct and instructive, but the tales are uneven; a few may inspire more questions about the bizarre actions of the characters than about the intended lessons. Meditation instructions appear at the close, along with a helpful index to issues and values from the tales. Brief explanations of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and guidance on the book’s use round out the package, which is illustrated with big-eyed, bright, happy-looking animals and people.

It fills a niche for Buddhist families, but it’s not really for the uninitiated. (Short stories. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 4, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-78028-514-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Watkins

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A wonderfully illustrated story of family.



A girl chronicles her adoption journey in Wall’s picture book.

Young Priya and her sister, Ari, face severe hardships in India before living in an orphanage where kind “Aunties” help them find “a forever family.” When the White, fair-haired adoptive family arrives, the girls note that they “did not look like anyone in our village!” However, Priya notes that her new mom “stroked my hair and kissed my forehead like she had known me my whole life” and comments that “we share the same heart.” In their new home,the siblings try new foods and hobbies and are shocked by the family dog because “People in India have pet cows, not dogs!” Despite difficulties, including infections that require surgeries and medication, Priya and Ari are ultimately thrilled to be a part of a loving household, and they embrace Indian traditions while cultivating new memories. This book is a sweet tribute to one family’s adoption experience, and narrator Priya provides thoughtful, kid-friendly insights throughout. Families with adopted children will find them particularly relatable. Wall’s illustrations feature lovely watercolors that create vivid backgrounds and swirling skies. The work also features a patterned Indian artform called Rangoli, which uses sand and flower petals. A glossary defines Sanskrit terms used in the text.

A wonderfully illustrated story of family.

Pub Date: March 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-09-835899-0

Page Count: 44

Publisher: BookBaby

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2021

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A bighearted parenting manual written by a caregiver with decades of experience.


Parenting strategies for the modern family with real-world examples.

Using her many decades of experience teaching preschoolers, Walther (Eye to Eye: Volume 2, 2011) has written a cogent book for parenting children ages 3-5. As a companion to three other volumes addressing a wide range of behavior strategies and learning tools, this book works well. Walther tackles some of the most challenging and nebulous zones of child development—cooperation, learning, major family changes, risk-taking and skills for success. Throughout, the author displays a tremendous love and respect for the children and families she’s worked with over the years, and her students’ success stories serve as validation of her methods. As with other modern books on parenting, Walther’s main strategy involves treating children as small, reasonable versions of adults by providing them with choices and helping them engage with the world. One familiar strategy for avoiding confrontation is to give children controlled choices; for example, ask the child “[w]ould you rather wear this blue shirt today or the red one?” instead of giving him or her the directive to get dressed. Other familiar methods include giving a child easy-to-follow instructions for proper behavior and providing clear consequences if they don’t follow them. Cooperation proves a challenge for most, and Walther’s tactic of asking silly questions about where socks and shoes go by trying them on her hands, for example, may have limited success. This challenge notwithstanding, Walther’s latest addition to her parenting series showcases all the strengths of the previous volumes: clear instruction coupled with stories about actual children and parents. Not many parenting books can boast the longevity of this one; children discussed in the text as toddlers show up in later chapters as adults with children of their own practicing the same strategies with which they were parented!

A bighearted parenting manual written by a caregiver with decades of experience.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1502471277

Page Count: 152

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

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