SAMSARA DOG by Helen Manos


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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The Buddhist concepts of reincarnation—and by extension Samsara and Nirvana—are conveyed with touching clarity in this Australian import. Dog lives through many lives: a feral street dog, mascot to a biker gang, a sniffer dog and a street performer’s pet. Some lives are short, like his few days as a sick puppy in a Buddhist monastery; others, like his time as the adored pet of four sisters, are long and happy. Then he’s born in a boathouse and becomes the pet of a poor boy who needs him. As they grow up together, the boy loses his sight. In helping the boy daily, Dog finds he has learned over the course of his lives to care for another more than himself. This time he isn’t reborn but enters Nirvana. Vivas’ distinctive warm, rounded, almost dreamy watercolors bring Manos’ tale to life. Perhaps not for every library, but this is definitely deserving of a place on the shelf next to Zen Shorts (2005) and Little Stone Buddha (2005). (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933605-51-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2007


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