Where is the Buddha in this modern world?
“Buddha is up high,” walking through the mountains and gazing at the birds. “Buddha is down below,” in a submarine, with the whales and fishes. “Buddha is watching the soft winter snow,” pausing on a bridge to watch a crane dance. He sits in the sun and shines with the moon and walks with the elephants in the warm showers of the monsoon. He “is everywhere you go.” He is in “the cozy house” and the wide open spaces. He is still and silent, big and small, near and far. Ware’s picture-book representation of the belief that Buddha’s nature is in all of creation is perfect for Buddhist families or others open to the teachings of the Buddhist faith. The jewel-toned, stylized, cartoon illustrations of a tiny smiling Indian Buddha in saffron robes effectively extend the text. In one double-page spread, children of many races hold hands or stand by all types of animals; in another, golden heart-lights shine from the silhouettes of humans and animals in a cityscape. As an added bonus, aside from introducing the concept of interconnectedness, the simple rhyming text presents pairs of opposites: Buddha in a biplane “goes fast,” Buddha “goes slow” along a garden path beneath the stylized blossoms of, perhaps, a Bodhi tree. The diminutive trim size emphasizes its friendly approachability.
In a few pictures, readers will have to search for Buddha…delightfully, it’s Where’s Waldo with a spiritual spin. (Picture book. 2-7)