professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Zen Ghosts

I love Jon Muth. I love the Zen picture books, his new collaboration with Mo Willems (City Dog, Country Frog) and his THE THREE QUESTIONS, too. So when I saw this new one, I grabbed it and read it immediately.

Stillwater is back to visit during Halloween. As the children prepare for trick or treating and describe their costumes, Stillwater is an appreciative audience. He invites the children to join him after they are finished with their trick or treat escapades. It is later that evening when the children join Stillwater and a guest who relates a story set long ago, the story of a couple who loved one another and wished to marry. Senjo and Ochu were inseparable. However, when Senjo reached marrying age, her father betrothed her to another. <370>

The story being told to the children is a koan, an ancient story told by sensei to help their students learn more about. They are stories with more questions than answers. I can see reading this to a group of students before giving them YA novels that do the same: CHOCOLATE WAR, FREEWILL, DELIVER US FROM EVIE, MOCKINGJAY and so many others.
Tags: picture books
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