A nonfiction picture book with full-color illustrations about the life of the Buddha, from award-winning author and illustrator Demi
Many centuries ago, in a kingdom in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, a miraculous child was born to the king and queen. The young prince, Siddhartha, was raised in the greatest luxury, sheltered from all pain and ugliness. But one day Siddhartha left the palace and saw, for the first time, human suffering and death. He knew then that he must relinquish everything his family, his wealth, his position to discover the Truth of life and death. With only a few humble possessions, he began a remarkable spiritual journey that ended many years later under a bodhi tree. There he finally discovered the Truth and became an Enlightened One, a Buddha. The Buddha taught the Truth and the path to inner peace for forty-five years, attracting thousands of disciples. Today millions of people around the world live by his teachings.
Demi's exquisite illustrations, inspired by the paintings and sculptures of several Asian cultures, are layered with meaning; each brush stroke has a special significance. Demi, herself a Buddhist, brings her devotion to the teachings of the Buddha and her vast knowledge of his life to this comprehensive picture-book biography of an extraordinary spiritual leader.
|Product dimensions:||9.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.20(d)|
|Age Range:||5 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Demi became fascinated with Buddhism at the age of three, when she chose a small golden statue of the Buddha at a five-and-dime store. At age twenty-one she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study art in India, where she walked in the footsteps of the Buddha. In researching the art for Buddha, she drew from Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, and Indonesian paintings, sculptures, and sutra illustrations, particularly Pahari and Chamba Indian miniature paintings. Demi, along with her husband, Tze-si Huang, has been a practicing Buddhist for more than twenty years.
Demi is the author and illustrator of many children's books, including Firebird, The Dalai Lama, and The Dragon's Tale. Her book The Empty Pot was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1990 as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush's Story Time. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she lives in Carnation, Washington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The artist called Demi is a treasure. She is a prolific illustrator of children's picture books and I love all of her work. She illustrates books by many other authors but she also illustrates her own work. In addition to mythological stories, folk tales and children's fantasy she has written many books that tell the life stories of renowned religious figures including the Dalai Lama, Jesus, Mother Theresa, Mohammad and the subject of this book, Buddha. In this book her writing is straight-forward and simple but gives all the important points of interest in the life of the Buddha as well as key points about the religion of Buddhism itself. It makes an excellent introduction. Demi is a practicing Buddhist and so she is able, in this book, to make an informative over-view of the subject while keeping it brief and interesting. The intended readership according to the publishers is the age group between nine and twelve years of age. I dispute this. I have read this to children in the intended age group and one child's eyes glazed over with boredom while the other child hung on every word and poured over each illustration. I feel that Demi's books on religious figures and this one on the Buddha in particular are going to be very popular with a thin strata of children, namely those who have a philosophical bent to start with or who are actually interested in historical "real life" people. Most children in the 9-12 age group will probably find the text of this book obtuse and uninteresting. I think this is because it is not very action-oriented and deals with mythology as well as the weighty topic of a personal spiritual journey and the quest for enlightenment. Having said that, it is a really wonderful book that certain interested children will love. Those few children that are interested in this type of subject will be delighted with the quality of the writing, the beauty of the illustrations and will get a lot out of this expression of such a broad subject. The illustrations have lots and lots of activity and color. Demi's style usually incorporates gold inks as accents and this makes them have an almost magical quality...certainly it adds an otherworldy aspect that helps a reader realize that the topic is not ordinary. I personally feel the people who will love Demi's religious books the most are probably adults or older children. The whimsy of her illustrations and the light-heartedness that is instilled in them make this book seem like a little work of art, a rare little gem of expression. The illustrations really do illuminate Demi's subjects. To me, Demi's books, and this one in particular are like antique tea cups or vintage jewelry...they seem special and delicate and precious. In this book Demi traces the life of the Buddha from the prophecies that predicted his birth, through his life as young Prince Siddhartha, his marriage and the birth of his son, his spiritual quest for the Truth of life over death, his ultimate Enlightenment and death at age 80 and his attainment of nirvana. It describes the spread and influence of the religion that grew out of his life journey. The book uses some parables as well as a spare and straight-forward biographical style. It details in simple language the basic tenets of Buddhist thought including a description of the Buddha's Eightfold Path, the path to enlightenment. You can probably see from this synopsis that this book is not the usual stuff of pre-teen leisure reading and certainly not your usual picture book fare. Demi uses a style in her illustrations that incorporates many different Eastern art forms. The book's dust jacket says that when she was 21 Demi was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and studied art in India. She draws from Indian art as well as Chinese, Japanese, Burmese and Indonesian paintings, sculptures and sutra illustrations. I love this book because I think it is exquisite on all levels. The paper is glossy and of excellent quality. The inks are crisp, clear and many-h
The story of how Buddah became Buddah. Details his journey to enlightenment ad includes awesome artwork. You could spend hours just studying the pictures.