An old Zen Buddhist tale retold for tots.
Two boys play in a schoolyard on a beautiful day. An older girl interrupts their games by ranting and raving about losing an earring while doing nothing to find it. One boy immediately starts looking for the missing jewelry and gets dirty in his search. The other boy watches and frowns. When the helpful boy finds the earring, the girl snatches it and runs off with nary a thank you. The boys start to play again, but the boy who didn’t participate in the search is too upset to have fun. The boy who found the earring tells his friend that it’s a sunny day, and they should be enjoying themselves. He points out that the girl and her earring are long gone and asks, “Why are you still there?” Namibar’s second Little Zen for Little Ones tale is a good-enough modernization of the legend of Japanese monks Tanzen and Ekido that counsels against holding on to past slights. However, it is hobbled by nameless characters and stagy, flat computer illustrations that resemble paper cutouts. The children look like button-eyed bobbleheads superimposed on realistic watercolor backgrounds. Jon J Muth’s retelling of the tale in Zen Shorts (2005) is vastly superior.
Good for niche markets only. (Picture book. 4-7)