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Pickle Me This

March 2, 2012

Our Best Book of the library haul: Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth

I must confess to not understanding very much about the spiritual nature of Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth, but still the book was immediately appealing. My impression is that it’s structured around several Zen koans, woven into a story of a group of children coming to know and appreciate an elderly neighbour. Presiding over this lesson is Stillwater, a giant panda whose nephew Koo has come to visit for the summer. Koo won my heart by speaking in haiku. It’s a lovely, calm, meditative story with gorgeous illustrations, and Harriet, for whom it’s just “the panda book” has been requesting to hear it over and over again. Though for her, Zen Ties is the second-best book of the library haul because she’s awfully stuck on a book called Air Show written by the actor Treat Williams (which, although lacking the depth of Zen Ties, is unterrible in an astonishing number of ways).

2 thoughts on “Our Best Book of the library haul: Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth”

  1. alexis says:

    I read another Zen book by Jon Muth when I worked in the children’s section at Chapters. It was cute as well.

  2. Yes, Maggie is crazy about Muth’s Zen books. We don’t have any, but the Children’s Storefront is full of them. Zen Shorts is her particular favourite. Definitely an approach to storytelling I would not have expected to find.

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