Little princeling Sid leaves the palace seeking what he lacks.
Brown-skinned Little Sid’s just a normal kid except that his parents are the king and queen. Every moment they surround him with fun and entertainment, but Sid’s not happy. He wants to spend time with his busy parents. Giving up on them, he sets out one day to find happiness in the world and hears of three wise ones who live on a mountain. Sid first meets a man who tells him his unhappiness will pass. He then meets a woman who makes him think about perception. Finally, while hanging precariously from a cliff’s edge, he meets a mouse who teaches him to value each moment. He walks down the mountain, happy and changed. He gives away his possessions and forces his parents to share a moment with him. Bouma’s illustrations are bright and expressive, but, as an introduction to the life and eventual teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, Lendler’s tale is a facile misrepresentation of the Buddha’s story. Siddhartha’s father was present in his life, and his mother died shortly after his birth. The historical “Sid” was never allowed out of the palace as a child. Buddhist families may recognize Buddhist teachings but might react to it the way Christian families would to a picture book of Jesus pulling loaves and fishes from his swaddling clothes and climbing on a cross while still in the manger. The three-paragraph note about the real Buddha at the close does not mitigate what’s gone before.
Skip. (Picture book. 5-10)