Zen Shorts: Jon J. Muth

Zen Shorts

Author/Illustrator: Jon J. Muth
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Year: 2005
Brief Summary: Three siblings visit their new neighbor Stillwater, a giant panda, and each learns a lesson about generosity, the randomness of luck, and forgiveness.  This is a good introduction to the Zen approach to the world.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • What lessons do the children learn from Stillwater?  What do these lessons tell us about the Zen way of thinking?
  • Introduction to Zen and other Asian philosphies (Tao, Confusionism, etc.).  Compare them to other major philosophies of the West…how are they similar/different?
  • Scholastic teaching guide: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/zen-shorts-storia-teaching-guide
  • Read Muth’s The Three Questions and Zen Ties.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  Additional information about Zen is included in the back of the book.

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

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