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Zen Shorts

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Stillwater, the beloved Zen panda, now in his own Apple TV+ original series! Jon J Muth, author of the best-selling book, The Three Questions, has crafted another profound and winning picture book. "Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tale Stillwater, the beloved Zen panda, now in his own Apple TV+ original series! Jon J Muth, author of the best-selling book, The Three Questions, has crafted another profound and winning picture book. "Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.


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Stillwater, the beloved Zen panda, now in his own Apple TV+ original series! Jon J Muth, author of the best-selling book, The Three Questions, has crafted another profound and winning picture book. "Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tale Stillwater, the beloved Zen panda, now in his own Apple TV+ original series! Jon J Muth, author of the best-selling book, The Three Questions, has crafted another profound and winning picture book. "Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.

30 review for Zen Shorts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    The lessons in Zen Shorts instill peace and calm. Stillwater is like a best friend, older brother, and wise grandfather all in one as he shares his knowledge. A book to come back to time and time again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    One day the panda Stillwater, shows up in the yard of Addy, Michael and Karl. They become friends and one by one they go to visit Stillwater. Each of them have a problem of a kind and Stillwater tells them a little Zen teaching story that relates and helps them deal with the problem. I have heard the last 2 stories and not the first. There is ‘Uncle Ry and the Moon’, ‘the Farmer’s Luck’ and ‘a Heavy Load’. Each of these are ancient stories used to hone one’s ability to act with intuition without One day the panda Stillwater, shows up in the yard of Addy, Michael and Karl. They become friends and one by one they go to visit Stillwater. Each of them have a problem of a kind and Stillwater tells them a little Zen teaching story that relates and helps them deal with the problem. I have heard the last 2 stories and not the first. There is ‘Uncle Ry and the Moon’, ‘the Farmer’s Luck’ and ‘a Heavy Load’. Each of these are ancient stories used to hone one’s ability to act with intuition without a goal. They challenge the listener to reexamine habits, fears, concepts and desires. The artwork is sparse and uses lots of open space with only 1 or 2 things to focus on. It does have a Japanese flavor to it. I very much enjoyed reading this story. It was fun watching the kids reactions to this. My nephew thinks he’s very cool. He probably is, but it’s funny to think of a 5 year old being cool. During the story of Uncle Ry and the Moon when the person being robbed gives the robber his only rob, my nephew could not figure this out. Why not report him to the police? Why give him the robe? He has heard the Farmer’s luck before. The heavy load completely went over his head. The niece had much the same response. She would not give a robber her stuff if he came and she wouldn’t greet him as a guest. They couldn’t get their heads around that and to be honest, I don’t think I can either. She grasped a little bit of the Heavy load story and she said, “when something bothers me, its hard not to only think of that. How do you set that down?” I told her that is the work of sages. If she figures it out she can let me know. I think it’s a practice of over and over until you finally set it down. The nephew gave this 3 stars because he liked the panda and the stories and the niece gave this 4 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    After reading Zen Shorts I can't stop wondering what does a slight panda accent sound like? Read and share this book because I think everyone could use a gentle giant panda in their life. I must credit my friend Jasmine who gifted this lovely keeper to me. It's the perfect birthday present for a budding watercolorist like myself. (Plus it's from Scholastic which brings back many happy childhood memories) After reading Zen Shorts I can't stop wondering what does a slight panda accent sound like? Read and share this book because I think everyone could use a gentle giant panda in their life. I must credit my friend Jasmine who gifted this lovely keeper to me. It's the perfect birthday present for a budding watercolorist like myself. (Plus it's from Scholastic which brings back many happy childhood memories)

  4. 5 out of 5

    nicole

    This is a story about a zen philosophy toting giant panda named Stillwater. He shares ancient zen parables with the children he befriends to help them cool their jets. You totally don't have to be a kid to read this. On bad days at work (when we actually have this in stock), I like to pick this off the shelf and read it. It makes problems seem smaller, and dwelling on other people seem a waste of time. Inner peace in like, ten minutes, man! ... my favorite selection: A HEAVY LOAD Two traveling monk This is a story about a zen philosophy toting giant panda named Stillwater. He shares ancient zen parables with the children he befriends to help them cool their jets. You totally don't have to be a kid to read this. On bad days at work (when we actually have this in stock), I like to pick this off the shelf and read it. It makes problems seem smaller, and dwelling on other people seem a waste of time. Inner peace in like, ten minutes, man! ... my favorite selection: A HEAVY LOAD Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn't step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn't help her across the puddle. The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn't thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed. As they continued on their way, the younger monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn't even thank you!" "I set the woman down hours ago," the older monk replied. "Why are YOU still carrying her?"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (not getting friends updates) Vegan

    I actually read Zen Ties first. I highly recommend reading this book first, then Zen Ties. Great introduction to Zen storytelling for young kids. And the paintings are beautiful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Peaceful, simple, and quietly thoughtful. What I needed after a loooooooonng meeting.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Splendid! Muth combines a tale of Stillwater the panda's budding friendship with three children with three classic Zen tales. Stillwater is a wonderful creation, so warm and cozy, so calming, so wise--yet still great fun. Rather like Zen, in fact! ;-> A great introduction to Zen for children, and a delightful tale anyway. Splendid! Muth combines a tale of Stillwater the panda's budding friendship with three children with three classic Zen tales. Stillwater is a wonderful creation, so warm and cozy, so calming, so wise--yet still great fun. Rather like Zen, in fact! ;-> A great introduction to Zen for children, and a delightful tale anyway.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nadja

    This is probably the most beautiful picture book I've ever seen. These watercolour illustrations are breath-taking. And the Zen stories are nice too. Highly recommend! This is probably the most beautiful picture book I've ever seen. These watercolour illustrations are breath-taking. And the Zen stories are nice too. Highly recommend!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicolay Hvidsten

    Buy this book. Seriously. You don't read this book - not in the common sense of the word anyway. You fall into it and you don't want to climb back out, much like "accidentally" falling into the ball pit at McDonald's because why should kids have all the fun. The amazingly beautiful and atmospheric water colours (done by the author himself no less) will draw you in if you let them, and they'll paint an incredible backdrop for the wisdom contained within the stories told by Stillwater, the star of t Buy this book. Seriously. You don't read this book - not in the common sense of the word anyway. You fall into it and you don't want to climb back out, much like "accidentally" falling into the ball pit at McDonald's because why should kids have all the fun. The amazingly beautiful and atmospheric water colours (done by the author himself no less) will draw you in if you let them, and they'll paint an incredible backdrop for the wisdom contained within the stories told by Stillwater, the star of the book. The book'll be over before you notice (and want), but the beauty of these stories is that they can be read again and again, and never lose their value. Don't buy it on kindle, buy the hardcover so you can truly immerse yourself with the beautiful artwork. This isn't a book, it's an experience.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    When Stillwater the panda arrives in their backyard, clutching a red umbrella and speaking with a slight "panda accent," Addy, Michael and Karl aren't sure just what to make of their new neighbor. But as each of them find their way to Stillwater's house, they discover that this tranquil and wise bear has a gift for telling Zen tales that give them a better understanding of their own experiences. The three embedded Zen stories, dealing with generosity and not getting too attached to material posse When Stillwater the panda arrives in their backyard, clutching a red umbrella and speaking with a slight "panda accent," Addy, Michael and Karl aren't sure just what to make of their new neighbor. But as each of them find their way to Stillwater's house, they discover that this tranquil and wise bear has a gift for telling Zen tales that give them a better understanding of their own experiences. The three embedded Zen stories, dealing with generosity and not getting too attached to material possessions, the variable nature of luck, and the importance of letting go of anger, are all engaging. But it is the framing narrative, the lovable Stillwater, and Jon J. Muth's beautiful watercolor illustrations that truly make this picture book extraordinary. This was a Caldecott Honor Book, and truly deserved the distinction...

  11. 5 out of 5

    First Second Books

    This weekend I picked up a copy of Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth at a library book sale. What a delightful book. I still remember picking it up in bookstore for the first time and smiling my way from cover to cover. This weekend, not only did I re-read it but I passed it around to my friends to read (and smile) through.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jim Erekson

    Overtly didactic, I would have liked this book less if we hadn't just had an in-depth discussion about transformative education last night in our semiotics seminar. The power of Zen stories and koans to still the mind and help people to perceive what is up close and cluttering our minds is part of transformation. Without becoming aware of broader forces and trends that work to shape us and boss us around, it can be difficult to transform. What I enjoy in a transformative experience is the having Overtly didactic, I would have liked this book less if we hadn't just had an in-depth discussion about transformative education last night in our semiotics seminar. The power of Zen stories and koans to still the mind and help people to perceive what is up close and cluttering our minds is part of transformation. Without becoming aware of broader forces and trends that work to shape us and boss us around, it can be difficult to transform. What I enjoy in a transformative experience is the having of the experience, not having an author tell me I should. This book clearly links the idea of 'here's a bit of Zen story' with 'here's how to apply it in modern life.' Literature has this kind of power to provide an experience, but when it turns into a sermon I feel like I am participating in advertising or proselyting rather than art. I do not prefer didactic books, even when I agree with them. Didactic literature usually assumes a transmission model of teaching (no interpretant), and a passive learner waiting for 'messages'.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolynne

    A deserving Caldecott Honor winner (_The Hello Goodbye Window_ by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka was the winner in 2006), Zen Shorts tells the story of three children who encounter Stillwater, a mysterious Panda with a red umbrella, in their back yard. He tells each of them a simple, poignant story which relates subtly to their lives (in the case of Karl, who is angry at his brother, it is more pointed). The stories all come from the Zen tradition, but this is not obvious unless A deserving Caldecott Honor winner (_The Hello Goodbye Window_ by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka was the winner in 2006), Zen Shorts tells the story of three children who encounter Stillwater, a mysterious Panda with a red umbrella, in their back yard. He tells each of them a simple, poignant story which relates subtly to their lives (in the case of Karl, who is angry at his brother, it is more pointed). The stories all come from the Zen tradition, but this is not obvious unless you read the author's note at the end. The framing illustrations are equisitely detailed in pastel watercolors. In the children's home are some simple black and white paintings of a bamboo that link to the black and white illustrations of the three stories within the framing story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ginger Bensman

    In this visually beautiful and contemplative children’s book, Addy, Michael, and Karl meet Stillwater, a giant panda who is very wise in the ways of Zen. Thus begins a book of gentle teachings and friendship. The watercolor illustrations are works of art and the taste of Zen imparted along the way will soothe the souls of both children and adults. Highly recommended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    I read Zen Ghosts a couple of years ago. I really wish I hadn't read that one first. I found it a bit predatory that a huge bear was luring children into his house with the promise of candy. In Zen Shorts, we see how Addy, Michael, and Karl meet Stillwater the panda. Now the other book doesn't seem so creepy. This is a lovely little book that makes three Zen stories accessible for young readers. The stories are framed by one in which three human children get to know their new neighbour, who i I read Zen Ghosts a couple of years ago. I really wish I hadn't read that one first. I found it a bit predatory that a huge bear was luring children into his house with the promise of candy. In Zen Shorts, we see how Addy, Michael, and Karl meet Stillwater the panda. Now the other book doesn't seem so creepy. This is a lovely little book that makes three Zen stories accessible for young readers. The stories are framed by one in which three human children get to know their new neighbour, who is (rather inexplicably) a panda. The ideas might be a bit tricky for the youngest readers, but this is a book that kids can grow into. They'll likely think more about the stories and their messages as they get older. Until then, though, they can enjoy the beautiful illustrations. I would recommend this book to those looking for unique picture books about outside-the-box topics. Quotable moment:

  16. 5 out of 5

    Villette

    A lovely book that includes 3 Zen classic stories. Excited to read this over and over again to our daughter.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bryn

    Genre: Cultural Folktale Grade: K-6 Caldecott Honor Book This is a beautifully illistrated narritive of three siblings that become friends with a panda named Stillwater. Each sibling visits the panda and the panda teaches each one a lesson. He tells them stories about his experiences to help him feel better about what is troubling them. After he tells the story, the book changes to a different, more graphic, illustration style and tells a Zen tale related to the story Stillwater had just told. It's Genre: Cultural Folktale Grade: K-6 Caldecott Honor Book This is a beautifully illistrated narritive of three siblings that become friends with a panda named Stillwater. Each sibling visits the panda and the panda teaches each one a lesson. He tells them stories about his experiences to help him feel better about what is troubling them. After he tells the story, the book changes to a different, more graphic, illustration style and tells a Zen tale related to the story Stillwater had just told. It's almost like stories within a story. Each tale teaches the siblings a life lesson. I liked how the alternate illustration style highlighted these stories. Addy visits Stillwater one day to have tea with him. He tells her a story about how when his uncle got robbed one night he introduced himself to the robber and visited with him for a while. This caught the robber off guard. The uncle didn't have anything to offer him so he took off his tattered robe and gave it to the robber. He didn't want the robber to go away empty-handed. He was then sad because that was ll he had to offer him. If the robber was desperate enough to rob him, then the uncle felt he must have really needed something badly. Michael visits the panda and learns a story about how having bad luck may not always be a bad thing. It may give you good luck in the long run. When Karl visits Stillwater he brings a large load of gear for the swimming pool. His brother Michael asked him to, which upset Karl. He was so upset about this that he didn't get to enjoy his time with Stillwater. Stillwater tells Karl a story about how you shouldn't let things worry you because you miss out on other things when you do. Activity #1: It would be fun to have students break up into groups and have them act out a story that has a lesson, then the rest of the class could guess what the moral of that story was means to be. Activity #2: Students could illustrate their story in the way that the illustrator in the book did. They could share their illustrations with their classmates and tell them why they think it's an important lesson. The illustrations could be posted around the room as reminders for how to handle certain situations.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Three years before Po scadooshed Tai Lung, wonder artist/children's author Jon J. Muth won the Caldecott with the introduction of Zen Panda extraordinaire Stillwater. Muth's Zen Shorts is a beautiful piece, telling tales of love and comradeship, friendship and patience, care and giving. Three siblings find the Zen Panda and listen -- individually -- to his tales of life. They learn lessons, and so do the readers and listeners, without ever being beaten over the head with stick. And the water colou Three years before Po scadooshed Tai Lung, wonder artist/children's author Jon J. Muth won the Caldecott with the introduction of Zen Panda extraordinaire Stillwater. Muth's Zen Shorts is a beautiful piece, telling tales of love and comradeship, friendship and patience, care and giving. Three siblings find the Zen Panda and listen -- individually -- to his tales of life. They learn lessons, and so do the readers and listeners, without ever being beaten over the head with stick. And the water colour art is unparalleled. This isn't as good as Muth's take on Stone Soup, but it is a lovely way to end a night with your favourite babe. Get it and practice your Panda accent. It can be whatever you want it to be. Mine is a nasally pseudo-Asian from a non-descript Asian nation. It works, though, and in our house I am now Stillwater. You can be Stillwater too. I promise. All you need to do is commit.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    So, this afternoon we finished reading our other two books, and my niece said, "Amy, I have a book we can read! It's called Zen Shorts--see, it's about a panda who wears shorts!" As entertaining as that story might have been, the story that Zen Shorts actually was was really lovely. The kids enjoyed the panda and his interactions with the kids, and they very much appreciated the pictures. It was a unique and peaceful story. For me, what drops this from four stars to three is my niece only understo So, this afternoon we finished reading our other two books, and my niece said, "Amy, I have a book we can read! It's called Zen Shorts--see, it's about a panda who wears shorts!" As entertaining as that story might have been, the story that Zen Shorts actually was was really lovely. The kids enjoyed the panda and his interactions with the kids, and they very much appreciated the pictures. It was a unique and peaceful story. For me, what drops this from four stars to three is my niece only understood the moral delivered in one of Stillwater's short messages. This makes me wonder how accessible these lessons, told in this way, really are to kids in general. I did spend some time explaining the lessons to the girl, and while that helped, it wasn't enough. When I asked if she understood she said, "Yeah, I do now. But I don't get why this was called Zen Shorts. This had nothing to do with the panda's shorts."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Agnė

    What a beautiful, serene, and enlightening book! Jon J. Muth's watercolor illustrations are gorgeous: And the three short Zen stories (i.e., Zen shorts) accompanied by ink illustrations are profound: However, I am not entirely sure how I feel about the depiction of a Buddhist monk as a panda (he even has "a slight panda accent"!), which emphasizes the exotic otherness of a person from a different racial/cultural/religious background. What a beautiful, serene, and enlightening book! Jon J. Muth's watercolor illustrations are gorgeous: And the three short Zen stories (i.e., Zen shorts) accompanied by ink illustrations are profound: However, I am not entirely sure how I feel about the depiction of a Buddhist monk as a panda (he even has "a slight panda accent"!), which emphasizes the exotic otherness of a person from a different racial/cultural/religious background.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Stillwater is very appealing to panda fans. And their parents. *** 2008 December 28 I'm amused by the constantly shifting scale of Stillwater, but the PandaBat enjoys the art, the story, and the koans. Zen for kids. Stillwater is very appealing to panda fans. And their parents. *** 2008 December 28 I'm amused by the constantly shifting scale of Stillwater, but the PandaBat enjoys the art, the story, and the koans. Zen for kids.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This book found a place on my shelves because it is so good. I don't think of it as a children's book, but they'd like it, too. The gentle humor (in text and art), the lovable bear, the stories of wisdom ... a comforting read. This book found a place on my shelves because it is so good. I don't think of it as a children's book, but they'd like it, too. The gentle humor (in text and art), the lovable bear, the stories of wisdom ... a comforting read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellinor

    I love pandas and so I just had to love this book. Very beautiful pictures and a nice introduction to Zen for kids.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Viv JM

    This is one of my favourite ever children's books. It is wise and beautiful and gentle and profound. This is one of my favourite ever children's books. It is wise and beautiful and gentle and profound.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Booth

    Wonderful Zen stories for children or adults who want a little gentle instruction. Sweet and generous.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bestry

    My friend Erin quoted a small excerpt for this book to me more than a dozen years ago, and at the time I borrowed the book from the library, read it in under five minutes, and returned it. Still, I am often drawn back. Over the years, I've read it multiple times, and can't quite get over the quiet charm of these Zen koans and ancient stories. This children's book has a dreamy quality to it; there are lost moments in time, transitions you might expect to be more detailed, but it's enveloped in a c My friend Erin quoted a small excerpt for this book to me more than a dozen years ago, and at the time I borrowed the book from the library, read it in under five minutes, and returned it. Still, I am often drawn back. Over the years, I've read it multiple times, and can't quite get over the quiet charm of these Zen koans and ancient stories. This children's book has a dreamy quality to it; there are lost moments in time, transitions you might expect to be more detailed, but it's enveloped in a coziness such that you don't mind. Like most children's picture books, there's not a lot of heavy lifting, narratively. Pre-schooler Karl shouts for his brother when he spots a "really big" bear in the backyard. When Karl, Michael, and their elder sister Addy go outside, they meet Stillwater, an enormous panda (with a slight panda accent) who has come to rescue his umbrella (a Japanese parasol) which the wind has carried from his yard to theirs. As the story progresses, each of the children has his or her own lovely, private, little visit with Stillwater (whom, I'm amused to note, is always naked, except for when he wears enormous bathing trunks to swim in the inflatable pool). During each visit, Stillwater shares a Zen story. First, we hear of Stillwater's poor Uncle Ry, who gives a gift to a robber; next, he shares the (often-told) tale of the farmer's philosophy about good and bad luck; and finally, the story that brought me to the book, and the one that brings me back time and again, about the two monks and the idea of "letting go." Each tale can be read to/by a tiny tot who might be charmed by the simple water colors, discussed with an older child, who may struggle with the literal vs. metaphorical meanings, and pondered (as I have done) by an adult, trying to live within the wise, Zen philosophies of each tale. I'd much rather have a gentle, tea-taking panda philosopher like Stillwater in my neighborhood than the menace that is the cat in the hat.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    Loved the Shorts !!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    This book will make a great addition to my classroom library. The majority of the book is written at approximately a 1st grade reading level, so my students can read the book themselves, and the three "Zen shorts" within the story offer a lot of great discussion opportunities. The pictures are really wonderful and cute, as well (I think this book won the Caldecott Award, or was at least on the Honors list). As an elementary school teacher, I can definitely recommend this book for young readers - This book will make a great addition to my classroom library. The majority of the book is written at approximately a 1st grade reading level, so my students can read the book themselves, and the three "Zen shorts" within the story offer a lot of great discussion opportunities. The pictures are really wonderful and cute, as well (I think this book won the Caldecott Award, or was at least on the Honors list). As an elementary school teacher, I can definitely recommend this book for young readers - especially if they're animal lovers because they'll get a real kick out of all of the adorable panda pictures alone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Folklore; e-book Zen Shorts is a children's picture book about three children, Karl, Michael and Addy who receive enlightening personal truths, specific to each of the children, from a gentle yet wise panda bear. There is a sweet pattern of three's in this book; three children, three stories from Stillwater, the panda, (one for each child) and three days over which the children are given wisdom to have success over difficulties in their lives. The knowledge given to the children is rich, yet grac Folklore; e-book Zen Shorts is a children's picture book about three children, Karl, Michael and Addy who receive enlightening personal truths, specific to each of the children, from a gentle yet wise panda bear. There is a sweet pattern of three's in this book; three children, three stories from Stillwater, the panda, (one for each child) and three days over which the children are given wisdom to have success over difficulties in their lives. The knowledge given to the children is rich, yet graceful, like the illustrations throughout; lovely and soothing, yet unforgettable. Educators could use this book as a read aloud in Kindergarten just for the sole purpose of pleasure and curiosity. It could also be used in first grade as a lead-in to provoking discussions about life's problems. This book could also be used at the beginning of the year in a second grade class as the introduction to a mini-lesson to provide inspiration for students to write their own example of meaningful stories they may have heard from someone in their family, and how it helped them in a specific way. This was a WOW book for me because it showed me what I'm missing in children's literature. Zen Shorts reminded me of the reality that I am unfamiliar with diverse folklore, and that I have a lot of reading to do before I become a teacher!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ana LibrariAna

    An adorable and tranquil book about a panda bear named Stillwater moving in to a new neighbourhood and next door to three siblings. Through stories- zen stories, he teaches each of them to look at the world in new ways. Zen is a Japanese word that simply means meditation. "Zen shorts" are short meditations- ideas to puzzle over. They have no goal, but they often challenge us to reexamine our habits, fears, and desires. Stillwater teaches Addie about material good and kindness; he teaches Michael An adorable and tranquil book about a panda bear named Stillwater moving in to a new neighbourhood and next door to three siblings. Through stories- zen stories, he teaches each of them to look at the world in new ways. Zen is a Japanese word that simply means meditation. "Zen shorts" are short meditations- ideas to puzzle over. They have no goal, but they often challenge us to reexamine our habits, fears, and desires. Stillwater teaches Addie about material good and kindness; he teaches Michael about the relativity of good and bad luck; and he teaches Karl about what it means to hold in frustration.

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