BOOK REVIEWS

The Buddha's Apprentice at Bedtime: Tales of Compassion and Kindness for You to Read with Your Child - to Delight and Inspire Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-04-17 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 79 user ratings
ISBN:1780285140
LANGUAGE:English

" I teach a Buddhist Sunday school every week. People ask me sometimes to recommend books about buddhism for kids. I always recommend this one. It is great. " said.

" The followup to Buddha at Bedtime, this book is even better. Not only are the pictures and language gorgeous, but the short stories based on classic Buddhist tales are just as good as the first book. Little bites of morality and ethics but phrased in ways that both kids and adults will find many layers of meaning. A wonderful book for bedtime or anytime. " said.

"Here's the deal with this book. My good friend, Quinn, recommended it & I bought it to read to my kids. My kids agree on some books but this one amazes me - they sit quietly for 2 stories per evening with no arguing, no impatience. Plus, they ask for it, which has rarely happened with any book. I love that it's not religious or preachy and would be a perfect addition to any kid's library regardless of the parents' religious views, if there are any. One story teaches a lesson about greed, one is about appreciating what you have, one about making your own luck instead of relying on a "charm", stuff like that, great stories about what most people would consider "good values".
Maybe try this one as a baby shower gift - (unlike Goodnight Moon, it's doubtful she'll receive more than one)
" said.

"As a Christian, I’ll admit I do not know much about Buddha. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t be objective when reading The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime.

The beginning of the book has several pages explaining Buddhism, a history of where it comes from and the belief system. I learned a lot here and Nagaraja provides a great summation in simple terms. I liked the Eightfold Noble Path and all that it included falling under the three categories of wisdom, ethics and concentration.

I was apprehensive to read this to my children so I read it through first. I did not read them the beginning history but they loved the rest of the book.

The stories themselves are great life lessons for little ones, regardless of what their beliefs are. My favorite was “The Shiny Red Train” because it was so applicable to my children. Each story ends with a saying that summarizes the moral of the story and this one was great for toddlers: “Doing the right thing means not being selfish, however unfair life seems to be. It can be painful not to have all the things other people have , but we can always be grateful for what we do have.”

The illustrations are simply amazing with bright, vivid colors that bring the pages to life. Each page is completely filled with words which was hard for the attention span of my three year old but my five year old listened to the entire page without trying to turn ahead to see the next picture.

The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime is a great collection of moral stories that are perfect for young children and the issues that they deal with daily.
" said.

"There is a lot to be said for a children’s books that entertains and educates both children and adults. So buckle in because I have a lot to say about “The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime: Tales of Compassion and Kindness for You to Read with Your Child – Delight and Inspire” by Dharmachari Nagaraja.

The collection was inspired by the Jataka Tales, traditional stories offering guidance and wisdom which are believed to have been told by Buddha himself. The stories are focused on explaining the eight great principles that underpin Buddhism, known as the Eightfold Noble Path. “The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime” also gives a brief overview of Buddhism, ideas of how to work with the stories and storytelling, and introducing meditation to children, if you’re so inclined.

However before you think Nagaraja brought us a book that is all work and no play, let me set your mind at ease. “The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime” is filled with adorable and charming tales. You and your child won’t feel as if you’re being beat over the head with some sort of overbearing Buddhist message when reading these stories. Like the best children’s tales, there are lessons to be learned, but I wanted you to know it wasn’t some sort of indoctrination text. What it IS, is filled with stories of monkeys wearing high heels, beautiful horses mastering fear, little boys battling water serpents, tree spirits savings goats, and a Queen of monkeys teaching humans what it truly means to be a leader.

Last we’ve got to talk about the illustrations. “The Buddha’s Apprentice at Bedtime” is full color and fully illustrated. The art so adorable! I did a couple of scans that don’t do it justice, but you’ll at least get the idea, and the idea is that the art is fantastic! The book credits Sharon Tancredi with commissioned artwork. I’m not sure if that means we should be crediting Tancredi for all the magic the art imbues into the book or not, but the illustrations are a big part of what makes “The Buddha’s Apprentice’s at Bedtime” a great book.

And that’s what Nagaraja has given us; a really great book.
" said.

"
It’s my fervent hope that the practice of reading stories at bedtime is not being superseded by the seductions of television and computers. There’s an intimacy involved in sitting down with a book and reading aloud to a child that is missed in the more solitary experience you get in front of a screen or monitor. The “teaching” part goes beyond the relay of information and into the realm of the human heart, body contact, intonation, and relationship. My own children are grown now, but I believe that story time was an important and memorable part of their childhood experience, and one they pass on to their own children.

My youngest grandchild, little Luka, is not yet old enough to sit still for a story. At nineteen months, his little body resists the requirement of sitting still, and his hyperactive mind, that of paying attention. When he gets to be old enough, though, I’ll be reading to him, starting with the nursery rhymes and fairy tales intended for the very youngest ears. It will be a little while before he’s ready for something more sustained, but when he is, I’ll look forward to reading him the stories from this book.

I have learned so much, myself, in recent years, from the teachings of the dharma that I would want to pass on to Luka, but the question is always, what is he ready for? I don’t want to come across all preachy and heavy-handed, because that can as easily turn a young mind away as turn it on. But the stories in this book—the subtitle calls them “Tales of Compassion and Kindness for You to Read with Your Child—to Delight and Inspire”—live up to their billing. They are good stories, adapted from traditional sources, based on the common values of kindness and compassion. Their teaching is exemplary rather than didactic, and each one has its own simplicity and charm. They are told in language that is comfortably readable, and are accompanied by brief, useful essays suggesting how they are best used.

Each of the stories begins with the injunction, “Relax, close your eyes, and imagine…”—an opening intended to introduce a child to the pleasantly attentive state of meditation; and in fact several meditation practices suitable for children are suggested in the last pages of the book. Since I have no children or grandchildren of appropriate age, I have no way of knowing how they might take to them. I have often wondered, though, when and how it might be possible to introduce a child to a practice that has become so meaningful in my own life, and would be curious to know what kind of response could be expected from those described. I’ll admit to having my doubts, I suppose in part because it took me so many years, myself, to be ready for its benefits!

The acid test: would I read this book to Luka, when he’s old enough? Absolutely. It’s a book I’m sure any Buddhist-inclining parent would welcome in their children’s library.
" said.

" I teach a Buddhist Sunday school every week. People ask me sometimes to recommend books about buddhism for kids. I always recommend this one. It is great. " said.

" The followup to Buddha at Bedtime, this book is even better. Not only are the pictures and language gorgeous, but the short stories based on classic Buddhist tales are just as good as the first book. Little bites of morality and ethics but phrased in ways that both kids and adults will find many layers of meaning. A wonderful book for bedtime or anytime. " said.

June 2017 New Book:

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