Book Review: Prince Siddhartha: The Story of the Buddha


Book Review: Prince Siddhartha: The Story of the Buddha

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Summary A beautifully illustrated and well-written chapter book detailing the life of Siddhartha and his awakening as the Buddha. Highly recommended for age 5 and up.


This illustrated long-format paperback chapter book is a favorite and belongs in any Buddhist children’s book library. It follows the journey of Prince Siddhartha and how he became the Tathagata, the Buddha, the Awakened One. There are 30 chapters, which cover many of the important turning points in Buddha’s life. The authors did an excellent job selecting these points. Middle Way School students particularly liked the story of young Siddhartha and his cousin Devadatta arguing over the swan, which is featured on the front cover. They wove it into their school play.

The full-color illustrations, nearly one for every chapter, are elementary and sweet. The messages of nonviolence, loving-kindness, and unselfishness come across in a non-dogmatic way and offer great jumping-off points for rich discussion.

There is a companion coloring book of the illustrations that we photocopied so the children could color while listening. When they were finished coloring, we attached the sheets to a long ribbon and strung them across the room so we could reference the stories from time to time.

Prince Siddhartha: The Story of the Buddha
by Janet Brooke and Jonathan Landaw Wisdom Publications, 2011 (144 pages)


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