Wu Mo’s Day

Buddhist Text Translation Society/Instilling Goodness. Jul. 2022. 40p. Tr $10.95. ISBN 9781642170542.
PreS-Gr 4–Readers needn’t be Buddhists to relish the peace and mindfulness of this book. “My name is Wu Mo. I am a Buddhist who has chosen to devote my life to the Buddha’s teachings.” That’s simple enough. He next explains that he lives a simple life with others by a river. The text is intended to carefully, unceremoniously, while adhering to Buddhist tone and sensibility, convey this way of life. The paintings are deliberately unschooled and spare; none of the characters, pink-skinned and childlike in form, have much in the way of distinguishing characteristics, and none of them have more than dots for eyes, or even mouths. Wu Mo explains that if bad things happen, he knows they will pass, and that death is mysterious, but a part of life. It’s a straightforward book that does its job well, which is to narrate what it might be like to be a Buddhist, and what a year in that life might look like, season by season.
VERDICT For collections that wish very young children to understand Buddhist life and teachings, this book provides a way in.

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