by Susan L. Roth

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Leaving the palace where he had been sheltered from a prediction that destined him to be a holy man, Prince Siddhartha sees for the first time the suffering in the world, and begins the journey that transforms him into the Buddha.  See more details below


Leaving the palace where he had been sheltered from a prediction that destined him to be a holy man, Prince Siddhartha sees for the first time the suffering in the world, and begins the journey that transforms him into the Buddha.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a lucid text and characteristically vivid cut-paper collages, Roth tells the story of Buddha, from his mother's dream of ``carrying a milky-white elephant in her swollen belly'' to the day he casts off his finery to become a holy man. She chronicles his transition from sheltered prince to concerned young man as he ventures beyond the walls of his garden paradise. The sudden realities of old age, disease and death resonate against a backdrop of luscious nature and youthful servants, conveyed here in richly hued scenes dominated by scatterings of flowers. Roth's writing stresses the vitality of this tale from one of the world's great religions; she underscores its impact with a factual afterword. The collages here are especially beautiful, radiant in color and zestful in spirit. They hum with details of another culture, and yet retain a universal simplicity. Ages 5-9. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Beginning with Siddhartha's birth and his father's forewarning about his future, Roth recounts her subject's protected childhood, marriage, and first excursions beyond the palace grounds where he learns of the existence of poverty, illness, and death. After meeting a holy man, he realizes his destiny. Leaving his family and worldly possessions, Siddhartha sets himself on the path to find truth and wisdom. The text ends here. An afterword summarizes the rest of his life, including how he became known as Buddha, and briefly discusses the growth, spread, and influence of Buddhism. It is unfortunate that this information is relegated to a single page in small type at the back of the text because it is essential to understand who Buddha was and why he is important. The handmade-paper collage illustrations feature the stylized figures, rich colors, and ornate decoration typical of Indian art. They are well done and suited to the subject, but the extensive use of symbolic images makes them often difficult to understand. Buddhism is a growing religion in the United States, and books on this level are needed. Even though it is a picture book, the art is sophisticated, and there is sufficient information to make it an adequate introduction to this world religion for older children.-Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Ilene Cooper
The life of Siddhartha, the Buddha, is unusual fare for a picture book, even one aimed at older children. This unique offering succeeds in many respects, especially in its marvelous illustrations, but the transformation of Siddhartha from prince to Buddha may still puzzle children by the book's conclusion. In its simplest form, the story of Siddhartha is simply a folktale, and that is the way Roth frames her telling. At Siddhartha's birth, a wise man predicts that the baby will become a very holy man. Siddhartha's father, fearing such a life is too difficult for his son, shelters the boy throughout his childhood, never allowing him outside the palace walls. When the young man finally comes in contact with old age, illness, and death, he is stunned. He leaves his expectant wife to seek the truth about the nature of the world and what can be done to alleviate suffering. An afterword gives a too brief description of Siddhartha's life after he becomes enlightened. The extraordinary illustrations are collage torn from handmade paper. Although highly stylized, especially in the design work, there is a childlike simplicity in the figures of Siddhartha and the others that" makes the art very accessible to the audience. An ambitious offering.

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Product Details

StarWalk Kids Media
Publication date:
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Seymour Science
File size:
19 MB
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Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

"Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there lived in New York City a small, beloved princess. She was blessed with loving parents, two sets of loving grandparents, and plenty of loving uncles and loving aunts. At that time the little princess was the only child in the entire devoted family, and so she grew, adored, pampered and even spoiled, in her privileged house filled with books and music and art, writers and musicians and artists.

When the little princess turned four she and her parents moved to Rochester, New York. To make sure that she wouldn't feel too lonely having left most of the family in New York City, the little princess was soon provided with a brand new baby brother. He was sweet and smiling. The princess loved him, and she still does to this day.

Always looking for adventure, the family soon moved again, this time to Madison, Wisconsin, to a large palace on a lake. The princess blossomed with the roses. She was a good little princess. In all the years there, only once did she fall in the lake, but even though she was wearing her red velvet dress she wasn't scolded for it.

Time passed, palaces changed. Just before she turned sixteen, she and her little family moved one more time, to San Francisco, California. This time the palace sat high on a hill overlooking the bay.

It was in California that the princess completed her formal schooling, at Mills College in Oakland, with BA and MA degrees in art. Then it became time to find adventures of her own.

The nolongerlittle princess set out to seek her fortune. Full of independence and anxious to give back to the society that had treated her so well, she took a job teaching underprivileged, innercity children in Washington, D.C.

Not a week had passed when along came a knight in shining armor. Before the year was out, the princess and her knight were married.
They settled on the east coast, first in Washington, D.C., then for many years in Bethesda, Maryland, and later, for many more years, in Baltimore, Maryland. They lived happily with their three children.

Back in 1984, the nolongerlittle princess began to tell stories of her own just like this one. Because of her interest in art, she always made pictures to go with her words. She began illustrating her tales with woodcuts, but very soon her impatient nature forced her to find a faster medium. She chose collage. All but the first two of her 40 books are illustrated with cut and torn papers from all over the world, and bits of many other things, too: threads, fabrics, wood shavings, photographs, doilies, insides of envelopes, dried flowers. She is always looking for things to glue onto her pictures that she hopes are full of surprises.

Now the princess has silver hair. Her children are grownups. Nine years ago, she and her husband moved to New York. Today they live in a tiny palace, right on the river. They look at the New York skyline from the windows of their ivory tower. In spite of her silver hair, the princess is not old and tired. She still works hard, every single day, writing and illustrating books for children.

"And I'll never stop, either," says the princess, "because this is living happily ever after."

Well, what did you expect? Everyone knows that that's what princesses are supposed to do."

Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is a Muppet performer who has played Abby Cadabby and others on Sesame Street, since season 37. She is also Prairie Dawn's Mom in Sesame Beginnings and has played a range of characters in the resource videos.
The puppeteer began her Muppeteer career on Muppets Tonight, where she played the Pamela Anderson take-off character Spamela Hamderson in the sketch Bay of Pigswatch. She subsequently played various characters on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (notably taking over Kathryn Mullen's characters in the second season) and played the principal role of Edi the zebra on Animal Jam.
Carrara's puppetry career outside of the Muppets has been extensive, including the series Johnny and the Sprites (as Ginger, opposite on-camera star John Tartaglia) and Blue's Room (as Blue in the first season). Her candy-obsessed character, Lolly, performs with her in several clubs and events in New York and LA, as well as working in children outreach programs.
As an actress, she played Miss Poppy, the human kiddie-show star, in the satirical play Pigeon-Holed, written by Sesame writer Annie Evans. She has also performed at an opening for First Lady Hillary Clinton at the Children's Day Forum and at Walt Disney World (as characters in Pleasure Island's Adventurer's Club, at the Hoop-de-doo Musical Revue, and as Mrs. Claus) Other acting credits include Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors on stage and the 1995 video The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Sea-World Adventure (as Mrs. Torres).
As a voice actress, in addition to playing the cartoon version of Abby on Abby's Flying Fairy School, Carrara-Rudolph has been heard in the Henson digital puppetry series Frances (as Mother Badger) and in the 2009 revival of The Electric Company (as all the characters in the recurring animated "Haunted House" segment). Other voice-overs include anime like Zatch Bell! and Howl's Moving Castle, the animated series T.U.F.F Puppy (recurring as Peg Puppy) and Poochini's Yard (as Wendy), and the podcast series The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd (as Mrs. Floyd and Martha Washington). Video game credits include Commander Sasha in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal and Ratchet: Deadlocked, Zoo Vet, and various citizens in the first two Saints Row games.

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