Zen Shorts

Zen Shorts

Book - 2005
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When Stillwater the bear moves into the neighborhood, the stories he tells to three siblings teach them to look at the world in new ways.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780439339117
Call Number: MUTH
Picture Book Fiction
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Subjects: Bears -- Juvenile fiction.
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction.
Storytelling -- Juvenile fiction.


From the critics

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Feb 24, 2020

2006 Caldecott Nominee - Favorite Illustration: When Michael and Stillwater are up in the tree and looking down at the reader. However, I also love so many little details in the illustrations, like how Addy's shoes are left outside the tent when she visits Stillwater and the giant swim trunks the bear wears to go swimming with Karl.
This is a beautiful story of three children each learning through stories about zen beliefs. I love the way the illustrations in this story switch between beautiful watercolors for the everyday parts and a cross between traditional Chinese illustration and comic book styles for the stories. Also included is an Author's note briefly discussing the zen teachings and the origins of the stories that Stillwater tells the children.

Jan 09, 2020

I read this for the "Book Used In A Celebrity Book Club" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I enjoyed it, the panda was adorable and the "zen shorts", short additions of classic fables, was a really great idea.

Aug 23, 2019

Week 11

Jul 31, 2018

Another Muth book of excellence imparting values, quality, faith and rich references for the young absorbing mind. The zen teacher we yearn for ourselves and our children found in Stillwater throughout the pages of this book. Soulful and deeply satisfying.

May 26, 2017

This picture book features excellent lessons adapted from Japanese and Chinese philosophy for anyone to take to heart. These lessons are retold in a way which young children can engage with, but are powerful enough to carry through a lifetime and speak to any age. I highly, highly recommend Jon J. Muth's work. While his water colours are always breath-taking, the stories he both writes and illustrates are deep, uplifting, and comforting. I hope he will one day be a part of my own child's education through reading. I also wish I had a giant panda bear friend named Stillwater like the children do in the book, who came to have tea with me and share tidbits of zen, but since I don't, it's nice to visit him in Muth's works. (I also recommend reading the author's notes if you're interested in his specific references to folklore and philosophy - it always takes me down an interesting trail!)

LMcShaneCLE Nov 06, 2015

This a family classic to visit over and over - I think it is perfect for second graders on up, but especially for "adults."

Jan 23, 2015

We love this. Great messages, sweetly delivered, with beautiful illustrations.

KRockstar10 Jul 03, 2014

I would really like to have this panda as my friend. Also, this book is great.

Mar 18, 2014

Love, love, love!
Now on birthday present list!!!!
Great for parents and kids.

Davidamartin Oct 03, 2013

This panda, Stillwater, embodies a very calm and peaceful presence that befits his name. From this wise, still point come simple and answers and conversation full of Zen simplicity and wise parables. Although the wisdom and lessons are ancient, they are presented in a way which is applicable to those of us living a modern life.

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