Zen Ties by Jon Muth

I love all the Stillwater books. I love how beautifully they are illustrated. I love how quiet they are. I love how they teach subtle messages and how you feel good after you read them. I love that each one screams QUALITY.

Zen Ties

Zen Ties

But more than all of the others, I love Zen Ties by Jon Muth, the newest installment in the adventures of Stillwater the panda, Addie, Michael and Karl. In Zen Ties, Stillwater brings the children to visit Miss Whitaker, the cranky old lady who lives on their block. The children don’t want to visit her — she doesn’t seem to like them and yells a lot. But Stillwater insists and while they are there, they learn that under a cranky person is often a lonely person. And they learn that spending a little time can make the difference in someone’s life. And finally they learn that old people have a lot to offer — in this case, a superb understanding of spelling that assists Michael in his spelling bee.

The Zen series is always wonderful but this book goes above and beyond the usual quiet lessons to teach a powerful message about our responsibilities in our community. More than that, it provides an opportunity for an important discussion with your children.

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