THIS IS THE LEGEND OF LAO TZU,
who may or may not have been born; who may or may not have founded Taoism, on of the greatest religions in the world; and who may or may not have written one of the greatest books of wisdom in the world: the Tao Te Ching, or the "Way of Heaven."
This thoughtful and thought-provoking book opens with a biography of Lao Tzu, the mysterious philosopher who is said to have been born at the age of eighty-one with snow-white hair, the ability to walk and talk, and unparalleled wisdom. Many credit him with creating the Tao Te Ching, which was written for the good of all humankind. Twenty of the eighty-one passages of the Tao Te Ching are included here, paired with stunning illustrations by the award-winning artist Demi. On topics ranging from silence to moderation, from governing to the balance of earth and heaven, these passages carry a powerful message and are sure to give each and every reader something new to consider.
About the Author
Demi is the award-winning creator of numerous books for children, including The Empty Pot; Buddha; The Dalai Lama; The Legend of Saint Nicholas; Gandhi, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award; and Muhammad, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice selection, a Booklist Editors’ Choice selection, one of the Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth, and a Book Links “Lasting Connections” selection, and was cited in a Publishers Weekly starred review as a “timely, exceptionally handsome biography [that] serves as an excellent introduction to Islam.” Demi lives in Carnation, Washington.
Read an Excerpt
The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching
By Demi Margaret K. McElderry Copyright © 2007 Demi
All right reserved.
Chapter One Once Lao Tzu was asked how he found the Way of Heaven, and he said, "I made a great effort: I tried and tried and tried to find it, but I couldn't. Then one day as I was sitting under a tree, a dry leaf fell, slowly moving with the wind. The wind moved north; the leaf moved north; the wind moved south; the leaf moved south; then the wind stopped-and the leaf fell down and rested beautifully on the earth. Then again there was some wind, and again the leaf rose high in the sky. "Suddenly I became that dry leaf; and suddenly I understood the Way of Heaven. No longer was I separate from Heaven, but I was a part of Heaven. Wherever Heaven went, I went. "If it changed its mind, I changed my mind. If it stopped, I stopped. If it flowed, I flowed. And that is how I found the Way."
Those who know don't speak. Those who speak don't know. Close your mouth, dull your senses, smooth what's sharp, untie all tangles, shut out all glare, wipe away all dust. This is your real Self. Be on Heaven's Way without desires or dislikes, benefit or harm, honor or disgrace. This is being Heaven's highest, for one under Heaven.
Without leaving his door the Wise One knows everything under Heaven. Without looking out his window he knows the Way of Heaven. For the farther one travels, the less one knows. Therefore the Wise One arrives without going, sees Heaven without looking, does nothing, yet achieves everything.
Excerpted from The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching by Demi Copyright © 2007 by Demi. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The illustrator uses watercolor paints and ink, setting each scene within a cirlce outlined in gold ink. Fine gold details are painted throughout.. Chinese characters, and symbols and their meanings are translated at the back. The tongue in cheek reference to the court/government/royalty as full of "donkeys" was humorous but would only be appreciated by much older students (Gr.8-12).
A beautifully crafted book that is a must read for the young reader starting to explore the world's religions as well as any adult wishing for an introduction to Lao Tzu and the Taoist beliefs. The spirit of Taoism is captured beautifully in the art and design of this book.