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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Booklist Starred
Gillian Engberg (Booklist, Mar. 1, 2005 (Vol. 101, No. 13))
Like The Three Questions (2002), Muth's latest is both an accessible, strikingly illustrated story and a thought-provoking meditation. Here he incorporates short Buddhist tales, "Zen Shorts," into a story about three contemporary children. One rainy afternoon, a giant panda appears in the backyard of three siblings. Stillwater, the Panda, introduces himself, and during the next few days, the children separately visit him. Stillwater shares an afternoon of relaxing fun with each child; he also shares Zen stories, which give the children new views about the world and about each other. Very young listeners may not grasp the philosophical underpinnings of Stillwater's tales, but even kids who miss the deeper message will enjoy the spare, gentle story of siblings connecting with one another. Lush, spacious watercolors of charming Stillwater and the open neighborhood will entrance children, as will the dramatic black-and-white pictures of the comical animal characters that illustrated Stillwater's Zen stories. Muth doesn't list sources for the tales, but his author's note offers more commentary about Zen. Stillwater's questions will linger (Can misfortune become good luck? What is the cost of anger?), and the peaceful, uncluttered pictures, like the story itself, will encourage children to dream and fill in their own answers. Category: Books for the Young--Fiction. 2005, Scholastic, $16.95. K-Gr. 3. Starred Review

Horn Book (Horn Book Guide, Fall 2005)
Three Zen stories are woven into a contemporary frame story when Stillwater, a talking panda, meets three young children. The panda narrates a story to fit each child's mood. The "shorts" are illustrated with quick black brush strokes, white forms, and pale backgrounds, while the children and Stillwater live in a tranquil watercolor world. An author's note provides background information. Category: Picture Books. 2005, Scholastic, 40pp, 16.95. Ages 4 to 9. Rating: 3: Recommended, satisfactory in style, content, and/or illustration.
Kirkus Starred Review
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2005 (Vol. 73, No. 3))
Limpidly beautiful watercolors and a wry, puckish gentleness mark these three Zen stories, one for each of three children. Michael, Karl and Addy discover a giant panda in their backyard. ("He spoke with a slight panda accent.") His name is Stillwater, and he tells Addy the tale of his Uncle Ry, who gave the robber who could find nothing to steal in his house his own tattered robe. (The robber, in the black-and-white illustrations that mark the three stories, is a raccoon.) When Michael comes to visit, he climbs a tree to sit with Stillwater, who tells the story of the farmer's luck. Karl comes to visit carrying too much stuff for Stillwater's wading pool, and hears just the right story for him. The pictures are as full of peace and solace-and humor-as the text: The title page has the panda dancing in a pair of oversize shorts; the cake Addy brings for tea has a stalk of bamboo in it for Stillwater; Karl and the panda bow to each other at the end of their day. The Buddha lurks in the details here: Every word and image comes to make as perfect a picture book as can be. (author's note) 2005, Scholastic, 40p, $16.95. Category: Picture book. Ages 5 to 9. Starred Review. © 2005 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved
Timnah Card (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2005 (Vol. 58, No. 8))
Addy, Michael, and Karl meet Stillwater the giant panda when he enters their yard to retrieve his breeze-blown umbrella. In their subsequent one-on-one visits to Stillwater’s house, the siblings enjoy short stories from the Zen and Taoist practices told by Stillwater. Though the children’s interaction with Stillwater instigates the telling of each story, these tales connect only tenuously with the frame narrative,
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Zen Shorts received a Caldecott Honor!

Format: Paperback book & CD
Narrator: David Pittu

"Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.


Détails sur le produit

  • CD: 1 pages
  • Editeur : Scholastic Audio Books; Édition : Pap/Com Re (1 juin 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 054522750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545227506
  • Dimensions du produit: 0,6 x 21,6 x 34,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 244.775 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Kinai VOIX VINE le 18 octobre 2011
Format: Relié
Je ne connaissais ni l'auteur, ni la collection, ni la philosophie zen et je me suis laissé tenter par cet objet pour la beauté de ses dessins. Je ne le regrette absolument pas.
Zen Shorts est un vrai bijou, une perle en quelque sorte. Les illustrations, bien évidemment magnifiques, servent une histoire simple et belle d'amitié entre trois enfants et leur voisin, le panda Stillwater. Celui-ci leur contera trois histoires, une à chacun, qui illustre des principes zen de méditation, c'est à dire des histoires qui feront réfléchir l'enfant et le lecteur.
Après avoir lu ce livre une première fois, il ne m'a pas fallu longtemps avant de le rouvrir et de le lire à haute voix cette fois-ci rien que pour le plaisir de la mélodie des mots.

Il s'agit là réellement d'un très beau livre à lire pour soi ou à son enfant. Je le recommande aussi pour une approche facile de la langue anglaise pour les plus jeunes. Un très belle trouvaille à lire et relire.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 205 commentaires
212 internautes sur 226 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A small still book 2 novembre 2005
Par E. R. Bird - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
If at first you don't create the world's most philosophically sound picture book, try try again. When illustrator and sometime graphic novelist (though you wouldn't know it from his bookflaps) Jon J. Muth turned a Tolstoy short story into the picture book, "The Three Questions", response from professional journals was mixed. People liked the IDEA of making Tolstoy accessible to children but "The Three Questions" just didn't seem to cut it. When the book didn't get much in the way of attention, Muth could've abandoned the whole idea of bringing larger ideas to very young people. Instead, he came right back with a heaping plateful of Zen with panda. "Zen Shorts" is the result and remains perhaps the most beautiful picture to be published in the year of 2005. To call it classy doesn't even begin to cover it.

A panda appears in the backyard of three children. He is holding a large red umbrella (one that he holds over the three children as they talk) and is extraordinarily polite. The book notes that he, "spoke with a slight panda accent". With this initial meeting, the children slowly befriend their new neighbor, Stillwater. When Addy comes to his home with a housewarming gift, Stillwater returns the favor with the gift of a small story about his Uncle Ry. Michael visits the panda at the top of a tall tree. There they discuss, with the help of another story, what luck is and how a person can never really know what is going to happen to them next. Karl, the youngest of the three, brings too many toys to swim with in Stillwater's wading pool. At the end of the day, the two have had a good time, but Karl has wasted much of it by being mad at his older brother. On the way home, Stillwater tells a tale of letting go of what you cannot change. The final image is of Karl perched triumphantly on Stillwater's paw as Addy and Michael look on bemusedly. An Author's Note follows, wherein Mr. Muth defines "Zen" and explains that this book is a grouping of "Zen shorts". These stories are intended to, "hone our ability to act with intuition". Darn tooting.

I'm a praise lavisher by nature. I'm all too eager to say that this or that book is the best in its category. Last year I decided that Jeannie Baker's, "Home" was the most beautiful picture book of 2004. "Zen Shorts", by extension, is the most beautiful picture book of 2005. When I say this, though, I don't want my statement taken lightly. Jon J. Muth has balanced jaw-droppingly beautiful watercolors with a story that speaks with both humor and serenity. Had Mr. Muth preferred to create a book that talked about Zen principles for the preschool-set, he could have done so quite easily without bothering with visual or verbal humor. "Zen" in general is a pretty heady subject, eh? The kind of concept that many an American adult still scratches their head in wonder at. How much more impressive then that Stillwater becomes such an adorable and amusing friend. After telling Addy the story of his uncle, the two are next seen painting pictures of one another in ink, hands gripping their paintbrushes in the correct position. When the two move on to cake, Addy spears a piece for herself while Stillwater's pink tongue reaches out to the bamboo garnish. I especially enjoyed the moment where Karl and Stillwater fill his kiddie pool up with too many toys. Stillwater stands in his bathing suit, his face impassive. Heck, he doesn't even have distinguishable mouth or eyes in the shot! Next to him, Karl has crossed his arms in a huff of anger at his own mistake. These illustrations seem to be perfectly balanced between what is true and what you wish was true. I would love to lie on the stomach of a friendly and wise panda like Michael does. Many a child will feel the same way.

Muth's small zen shorts act as little stories within a story and compliment the larger action perfectly. The shorts are illustrated differently than the rest of the book so that, instead of watercolors, they are lined in thick black ink. Without drawing undue attention to himself, Muth is showing us that he can draw in completely different styles without so much as breaking a sweat. The stories themselves may be familiar to some adults. I particularly remembered "The Farmer's Luck", and love the final amusing image Muth chooses to close out this tale. Kids reading this book may be confused by the selflessness displayed in both the first and the third story towards the undeserving. Intelligent adults will find a way to use such parables towards furthering their kids' understanding of the wider world. The final tale ("A Heavy Load") may require some explanations to children when it comes to the (for lack of a better word) punchline. Otherwise, they are instantly understandable to young readers.

You would be wise to pair this book with Jack Prelutsky's, "If Not For the Cat" if you wanted a storytime tinged with East Asian influences. If you yourself are an adult and you are impressed by his visual style, you may wish to seek out his work on "Moonshadow", or other graphic novels that bear his hand. I, personally, would be amiss if I didn't also talk up his fabulous, "Gershon's Monster" by Eric Kimmel. To my mind, "Zen Shorts" is Muth's best picture book work thus far. This is possibly because it was written with his own words. If we can expect more books of this nature to come out with Muth's voice accompanying them, we can count ourselves lucky indeed. Again, I say that there is little doubt that this is the most beautiful picture book of 2005.
53 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wondeful Vehicle for Discussion with Children 6 juin 2005
Par Robert Cannon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I read this to my children last evening. It resulted in a lengthy discussion about anger, giving, forgiving, wealth, and life. A wonderful book with a structure that is conducive to discussion. Divided into three parts with stories that Stillwater tells to visiting siblings, each story is an opportunity to stop and discuss.
83 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Best kids book purchase in some time 20 mars 2005
Par Sylvia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I picked this up on a whim because of the title and the gorgeous illustrations. I got a real treasure! My five year old son loves to have it read to him, and I love reading it.
30 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Enchanting and Beautiful 14 août 2006
Par A. Meikle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I first overheard my wife reading this book to our children; then I realized what I was listening to and became captivated; Zen stories made accessible to all as they are related by a panda to his neighbors. Then I saw the pictures; the illustrations are of a world you'll long to inhabit--and you may be jealous of the children that they have a neighbor like Stillwater. Tears of joy and satisfaction welled up as I read it, and I realized that I had in my hands a truly wonderful book. The stories that Muth tells through Stillwater (the perfect name for the Zen panda) speak to all of us--I am sure I get something different from their telling than my eight-year-old and four-year-old, but the stories spoke to all of us. There is also tremendous subtlety in the relationship between the story that the children are in, and the ones that they hear from Stillwater. That subtlety was not ultimately lost on me nor my eight-year old, as we shared the wonderful experience of reading this book together.

Every so often, when I discover a book, a movie or a CD, I have the impulse to go out and buy as many copies as I can get my hands on, and share it with everyone I know; that impulse hasn't driven me more than a handful of times. Zen Shorts is one of those books. If I don't know you though, you'll have to buy your own copy--but you won't regret it.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A real gem 20 octobre 2005
Par A.S. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
There is something about the quiet way in which this book unfolds that is appealing to adults and, apparently, to young children as well -- my four-year-old leafs through the pages on his own every day since the day I bought it, and sleeps with it, too. There is gentle wisdom here that is sure to foster thoughtful discussion about how we should treat ourselves and others.
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