Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Little Sid: The Tiny Prince Who Became Buddha by Ian Lendler

Classic Tale Of Buddha

“A spoiled young prince, Siddhartha got everything he ever asked for, until he asked for what couldn’t be given - - happiness.” 

As a child, Sid leaves the castle and heads to the nearest village in pursuit of happiness. Going from house to house he asks about happiness. Eventually, he goes up the mountain of the Three Wise Ones and asks a man who is fishing where he can find happiness. He is told it will pass. He then comes to a tree-woman who is blocking his path. He asks her the same question and is told,
“You are already on the other side.”
Eventually, Sid is chased by a tiger and falls off a cliff. As he clings to a vine a mouse appears and begins to nibble the vine. As it’s about to break Sid declares,
“I hate this mountain.” 
And that’s when he notices a strawberry growing on the vine. Since this could be his last meal, he takes a bite. The mouse speaks,
“How does it taste?”
 Sid tells him it’s delicious. At that time a fishing line appears and the old man who was fishing earlier pulls him to safety.
“Did you find what you were searching for?” he asks. 
Sid tells him he is now happy.
“That too will pass,” says the fisherman.
Sid then walks down the mountain a different person. That evening at dinner he decides to make some changes; he saws the table in half. His parents wonder what is wrong with him and ask if he wants a new toy. He says that he wants, "no things." He then demands his parents to just, "be . . . here. . . now." And there is where the story ends except for four paragraphs, more for adults, regarding the real Buddha's life.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me:
The few things I've read about Buddha's teachings seemed interesting, maybe that's why this book caused me to do further research. When I did a very quick search for details about Buddha's early life, this picture book disappointed me even more. If children and adults think they are reading a biography, which they easily could if they miss reading one sentence on the front flap of the book or the recommendation by Gene Luen Yang on the back cover.

I have read several postings including Buddha/Biography by Donald S. Lopez,    Ancient  History Encyclopedia, and History.com  “Although he had an easy life, Gautama was moved by suffering in the world. He decided to give up his lavish lifestyle and endure poverty." (From History.com)  "By the time he was 29, he abandoned his home and began to live as a homeless ascetic. Even though it is normally held that Siddhartha left home in secret, this legend is a later addition; early scriptures explicitly agree that he abandoned his home, “though his parents did not conscent [sic] and wept full of affliction”. (Ancient History Encyclopedia.)

And while the book Little Sid is supposed to be a modern-day retelling that weaves traditional Buddhist "fables" into a classic new tale, the only real Buddha-facts I found were completely vague.

The book left me very disappointed since it could have been so much more.

What I Liked Best:  This is a first for me. I really didn't like anything.

Author: Ian Lendler
Illustrations: Xanthe Bouma
Publisher: First Second (January 23, 2018)

1 STAR (A Rating I Hate To Deliver)
  • Ages: 4-8
  • Pages: 40

Elegant World Map - Wall Prints

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