SKY SWEEPER by Phillis Gershator
Kirkus Star

SKY SWEEPER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Young Takeboki takes a job as a Flower Keeper. Throughout the years, he sweeps up blossoms in the monks’ temple with absolute dedication, despite suggestions that he find a job with a future and look for a wife. He knows that “the monks need a temple, the temple needs a garden and the garden needs a Flower Keeper.” No one perceives his efforts, but Takeboki is not bothered. Even when he grows old and wears shabby clothes, he sees himself as rich with the gold of the fallen leaves. It is not until he grows ill and takes to his bed that people notice all he has done, but it is too late to thank him; by the time the monks arrive, Takeboki has died with a contented smile on his face and moved on to a new place where he sweeps the sky. Infused with a Buddhist sensibility, written in clear, minimalist language, accompanied by rich, organic illustrations and culminating in a haiku by Moritake, this is an original fable not to be missed. Includes an explanatory note on Japanese gardens. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 9th, 2007
ISBN: 0-374-37007-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2007




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