A How-to on Not Looking at Life as Lucky or Unlucky

Summary:

When her bike is stolen, a young girl's friends are sad and call it an unlucky event. Then, when her parents got a new bike for her, the same friends get excited and say she is lucky. When she fell off her bike, it was another unlucky event ... but she stayed home from school the next day to heal. How lucky! Through these events (and others), a young girl replies with just one word: "Maybe."


Parent Perspective:
Love the concept behind the story and how the author conveyed ancient wisdom through modern events. Ironically, I wish the illustrations would have been less modern and had a more traditional feel! Kids also connect better with characters who have names, so instead of reading "the girl," I gave the girl a name (Sophia).

Before you read this with your child, be sure to read the Author's Note in the back. It isn't a book you can jump into without slowing down to explain why "Sophia" only says one word. The lesson in the story is that events are not lucky or unlucky and that getting too happy or too sad for a single event makes life harder. Once they have more context, your kids will want to read it again - and this time they will want to take Sophia's part.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Bright colors and realistic events come together in an easy-to-follow story that helps young readers understand emotional balance.

Content Awareness Factors:

None, really. The girl stays home from school two days for a bandaged (not broken) arm. Some readers - even kids - may see that as excessive and overdone based on how the rest of the story unfolds.


Type of Book:
This picture book is part of a series that brings traditional Zen concepts into everyday activities and events that are relevant to today's kids.
Educational Themes:

The story is built on a Zen fable and illustrates how we perceive events in our lives. In this case it is the perception of lucky v. unlucky. The author describes the fable and includes some questions at the back that are perfect for opening discussions.

Reading Level:
unk
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
5 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Definitely borrow. It has a nice lesson about investing too much emotion in any one event.

Title Maybe: A Little Zen for Little Ones
About

A Little Zen for Little Ones

Author Sanjay Nambiar
Publisher Umiya Publishing © 2011
ISBN 9780983824305
Material Hard Cover
Cost $15.99
Genres Fable | Folklore, Health & Wellness, Mythology
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