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Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha Paperback – July 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Heian; 2nd edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0893469564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0893469566
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Stewart tells the traditional story of the life of Prince Siddhartha, beginning with the prophecies about his future greatness and the impact that the suffering of others will have on him. To keep the knowledge of suffering from the child, the king surrounded his son with a life of plenty. But even in the royal palace, the prince saw jealousy and the desire for power and decided to look beyond its walls. He discovered the great truths of ordinary life–sickness, old age, death–and began his quest to find a way to relieve humanity of pain. Rippin's illustrations feature decorative beadwork as well as richly hued paint and black backgrounds; in some ways, they resemble the paintings on lacquered Asian cabinets. Story and art are printed so that the book's binding is at the top instead of to the left, creating long vertical pages, a variation sure to appeal to young readers. Along with Anne Rockwell's The Prince Who Ran Away (Knopf, 2001), Becoming Buddha joins Hitz Demi's Buddha (Holt, 1996) on the slender shelf of books aiming not at critical biography, but rather at a more seamless retelling with a direct narrative arc. Libraries that own either Rockwell's or Demi's books may opt not to purchase this one, but for those that need a beginning biography of one of the world's greatest religious leaders, it's a fine introduction to his life and teachings.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. A stirring message from the fourteenth Dalai Lama introduces this picture-book biography, written by a practicing Buddhist. Stewart follows Buddha from pre-birth prophecies through his pampered youth, his break with royal life, and his quest for enlightenment. Children new to meditation may have trouble grasping the ideas in a few passages about the process, described as "a natural state of mind, free from the distraction of . . . senses" and "the space between thoughts . . ." But these descriptions also lend the narrative accessibility by explaining more about the activity that occupies Buddha through so much of the story, and an appended meditation exercise--a good choice for young beginners--may increase children's interest in the subject. Rippin's painted collage art, in spare, oblong spreads that stretch above and below the book's spine, keeps the focus on the large, naive-style figures, accented with saffron yellow and lapis-blue patterns. Pair this Australian import with the titles listed in the January 2002 Read-alikes feature "Beginning Buddhism." Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
0%
3 star
17%
2 star
8%
1 star
0%
See all 12 customer reviews
I really enjoyed this book and hope that the kids will as well.
mizzrena34
Where children are concerned, it is a good story that captivates attention and sparks the imagination.
Patrick D. Goonan
The pictures in this book are very colorful and look like they are painted.
Reader Views

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on July 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very well done children's book on an important world religion. It uses the narrative story of the Buddha's life to demonstrate the fundamental principles of Buddhism i.e. material life is characterized by suffering, the middle way between two extremes is best and there is a release from the cycle of suffering.

Where children are concerned, it is a good story that captivates attention and sparks the imagination. This re-telling of the Buddha's life fits the bill and introduces many sound principles that apply to any religion e.g. ultimate satisfaction is not to be found in the material world, the way to deeper meaning is inward, suffering is largely caused by selfish desire, etc.

In a diverse world, books like this can help to bridge important gaps. This one has a good story, principles, illustrations, etc. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader Views on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Brianne Plach by Reader Views (5/07)

Siddharta has had a rough life. His mother dies just 7 days after his birth and his aunt becomes like a mother to him. The boy's father, King Shuddhodana, is told that his son can become a holy man when he is older but for now he will be a great ruler. As he grows up, he feels that life is full of suffering. He is encouraged to look for some enlightenment. He learns the benefits of meditation. He becomes a leader in his own way. The road to becoming a leader takes many twists and turns along the way. He also meets some people who encourage him.

"Becoming Buddha" provides an interesting insight into Buddhism. It gives non-Buddhists a chance to see a little of what Buddhism is about. It is not my religion, but gives me a look at another religion. The pictures in this book are very colorful and look like they are painted. It is very artistic. "Becoming Buddha" has in its foreword written by the 14th Dalai Lama, that the author doesn't believe in Buddhism but hopes that she can contribute to global peace.

Note from Brianne's mother: On the book jacket, this book says that it is best suited for children over the age of 12. She is younger than the target audience so we read this book together. She had a lot of questions about Buddhism since it is much different than our faith.

Book received free of charge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Becoming Buddha, the Story of Siddhartha" is a beautifully illustrated children's book about the life of Buddha. A foreword and special meditation guide by Hi Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama add to the immense appeal and value of "becoming Buddha." Written in white flowing text against black background and unfolding like a calendar of miracles, "Becoming Buddha" presents the story of Siddhartha's life like a luminous, unfolding flower. Just reading and experiencing the story is sure to bring a measure of hidden peace and joy to anyone. The Four Noble Truths are presented along with the Buddha's saying: "Pay Attention to your mind. Otherwise it will cause you to suffer. The focused mind brings happiness." "Becoming Buddha" is accessible to children ages 8 and up, and adults of all ages. Younger children will love the illustrations and sense the message of peace that is folded in to this inspiring interpretation of the life of Buddha.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Turkey Bird on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful book. The art is just lovely. I really enjoyed it. That being said, I felt it was a little too advanced for my 3.5 year old. My 5 year old was very interested in drawings but it seemed a little too detailed for her even. I think the approach to take would be to read a few pages at a time and then talk about what you read and then read a few more the next night and talk about what you read..etc..etc...but not something to read all in one evening. A good buy regardless. You can always tuck it away until the time is right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Erickson on December 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an introduction to the main themes of Buddhism through a telling of the Buddha's life story. One of the few Buddhist offerings geared for children this young (3-8 years old), the interesting artwork and fascinating story held my four-year old daughter's interest. Look for the paperback version used, since the hardcover import is currently out of print and very expensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Regan House on January 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 4 year old girl is probably a bit confused when I take meditation breaks. Not only is this a great story to instill values but it seems to elucidate on the practice of meditation at a basic level and I think it was a eureka moment for her while I was reading that part. This is why Daddy meditates kind of thing. Excellent book I hope she doesn't get bored with it so I can read over and over again and habituate both of our minds! =)
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