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The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales

The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales

by Sherab Chodzin, Marie Cameron (Illustrator), Alexandra Kohn (Joint Author)

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Dragons, goddesses, fortune hunters, and talking animals populate these folktales and Zen parables gathered from Tibet, India, Burma, China, and Japan.


Dragons, goddesses, fortune hunters, and talking animals populate these folktales and Zen parables gathered from Tibet, India, Burma, China, and Japan.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
A foreword on Buddhism and Buddhist tales introduces this lively collection of stories. The tales are from Japan, Tibet, Myanmar, India, and China, all with a common thread of beliefs and values. They reflect, says the introduction, the conviction that the truth, in essence, is simple enough to be grasped by all, including children. Often infused with the belly-laugh kind of humor characteristic of Buddhist tales, this is a lovely collection of stories that deserves a place on the storyteller's bookshelf. Cameron's illustrations sparkle, and her intricate borders draw upon fiber art and painting traditions.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpA collection of folktales from several Asian culturesBurmese, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Tibetanthat illustrate values associated with Buddhist tradition, mainly Zen. A foreword discusses the founding of Buddhism and describes the life of the Buddha and the growth of the religion in Asia and more recently in the West. The stories explore the human predicament and often examine the power of the mind as a force for overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. "Angulimala the Brigand" is a well-known canonical story of the Buddha, who also appears in "The Stone Ape." The title story expresses the sentiment that true wisdom sees beyond superficial events. Familiar folkloric motifs appear throughoutvarious types of tests and deceptions, reversals of fortune, sibling rivalries, predictions of the future, and solutions to puzzles. These motifs set in nonwestern locations and accompanied by enchanting full-color illustrations make this a unique and attractive offering. On occasion, especially in the foreword, the authors assume that their audience will have a rather sophisticated grasp of Buddhist culture and philosophy. The intended messages of some of these parablelike selections will be over the heads of many young people unfamiliar with the faith. Although this title may not have a wide audience, the briefer stories can be used successfully as read-alouds.Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Tricycle Magazine
Enchanting stories from India, Tibet, China, and Japan depict a world of talking animals, wise sages, and dangerous monsters.
Kirkus Reviews
A pleasingly produced, trenchant collection; Ch"dzin and Kohn have selected tales of varying lengths, from "Useless Work," a short, humorous Zen tale that puts a high nutritional bite into the well-worn suggestions to "get over it," to the longer "Goodheart and the Goddess of the Forest," a tale from Myanmar. The authors' informative foreword describes the nations to which Buddhism has already spread and its current status as the fastest-growing religion in Europe and the US. Although the tales have various origins, they are united in that each reflects a truth in the Buddha's teachings that can be grasped by children as well as adults, and is offered lightly rather than dogmatically. These are stories to amuse readers for an hour or sustain them for a lifetime; they're presented here with deceptively entertaining adroitness of text and immense visual appeal, due to newcomer Cameron. A extremely worthy book. (Folklore. 7-10)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Collects Asian folktales
Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 10.42(h) x 0.28(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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