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Zen Socks


Series
Stillwater

by
Jon J Muth

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Scholastic
Imprint
Scholastic
ISBN
9780545166690

Awards and Honors
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year 2015, Ages 3–5
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$6.00   $5.00
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Leo and Molly love spending time with their neighbor Mr. Stillwater. He’s kind. He’s wise. And did they mention, he’s a giant panda? Author’s note. Full-color watercolor and ink illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Dewey

E

AR

2.9: points 0.5

Lexile

AD520L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Feb 2016

Book Genres


Topics

Giant panda. Pandas. Brothers and sisters. Storytelling.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Guide, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
The sage giant panda, Stillwater, returns to bestow knowledge through storytelling, this time while occasionally donning a pair of red-and-white striped socks. As Muth explains in the author’s note, Zen Socks was inspired “by all of the unexpected way I have benefitted from those who have ‘socked it to me.’” Readers meet Leo and Molly, siblings who have moved into a new neighborhood and are delighted to discover that the unusual panda (“‘What’s his name again?’ asked Leo. ‘Mister . . . Quietpuddle?’”) is their neighbor. When Molly expresses the desire to be a famous ballerina with her name on glittery posters, Stillwater tells “The Taste of Banzo’s Sword,” a humorous tale adapted from Paul Reps’s Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (Tuttle, 1957), which emphasizes the importance of patience. Later, Leo and Stillwater muse about the nature of “bad guys” and selfishness. Finally, the trio heads to the beach where they find starfish stranded on the shore. Though there are too many starfish and it seems nearly impossible to help, the siblings rally, coming to understand that even very small acts of kindness make a difference. Muth once again employs dual styles: sumi ink—style black-and-white drawings for the Banzo’s Sword story, and loose, light-filled watercolors for the scenes with Stillwater and the children. The compositions create a tranquil atmosphere and an appropriately Zenlike airiness, allowing young readers to focus on the character’s interactions and observations. There are certainly lessons here, but they are imparted with gentle grace and respect for a child’s developing sensibilities. VERDICT Muth makes a meditation on patience, kindness, and faith not only accessible, but charming.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
The sage giant panda, Stillwater, returns to bestow knowledge through storytelling, this time while occasionally donning a pair of red-and-white striped socks. As Muth explains in the author’s note, Zen Socks was inspired “by all of the unexpected way I have benefitted from those who have ‘socked it to me.’” Readers meet Leo and Molly, siblings who have moved into a new neighborhood and are delighted to discover that the unusual panda (“‘What’s his name again?’ asked Leo. ‘Mister . . . Quietpuddle?’”) is their neighbor. When Molly expresses the desire to be a famous ballerina with her name on glittery posters, Stillwater tells “The Taste of Banzo’s Sword,” a humorous tale adapted from Paul Reps’s Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (Tuttle, 1957), which emphasizes the importance of patience. Later, Leo and Stillwater muse about the nature of “bad guys” and selfishness. Finally, the trio heads to the beach where they find starfish stranded on the shore. Though there are too many starfish and it seems nearly impossible to help, the siblings rally, coming to understand that even very small acts of kindness make a difference. Muth once again employs dual styles: sumi ink—style black-and-white drawings for the Banzo’s Sword story, and loose, light-filled watercolors for the scenes with Stillwater and the children. The compositions create a tranquil atmosphere and an appropriately Zenlike airiness, allowing young readers to focus on the character’s interactions and observations. There are certainly lessons here, but they are imparted with gentle grace and respect for a child’s developing sensibilities. VERDICT Muth makes a meditation on patience, kindness, and faith not only accessible, but charming.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

Grades 1-3
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Interests
Beginning Readers,Chapter Books,Fiction,Picture Books
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