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I Once Was a Monkey

Stories Buddha Told

Jeanne M. Lee; Illustrated by the author

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

A colorful introduction to Buddhist fables

A monkey, caught in a monsoon, finds shelter in a cave amid the rubble of a temple. The monkey is not alone. A lion, a jackal, a turtle, and a dove bicker in the cramped space, until a statue of Buddha comes to life. "Hush, children, hush." Buddha says. "I will tell you a story to pass the time." From the tale of the clever monkey outwidding a hungry crocodile to that of a bird and turtle rescuing a friend, the six amusing parables told by the Buddha will introduce young readers to the famous cycle of fables in Buddhist literature known as the Jatakas, or birth stories, which Buddha originally told to his disciples to illustrate his teachings. Joined with stunning linocut illustrations, Jeanne M. Lee's retellings form a book notable for both its beauty and its wisdom.

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Praise for I Once Was a Monkey

"In a sort of story-within-a-story form, Lee presents six short Jatakas, or 'birth stories,' drawn from Buddhist literature...The appealing character of the monkey will pull children into the tales, which convey lessons in a direct yet gentle way that is never preachy. The accompanying linocut illustrations are lovely."-Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jeanne M. Lee; Illustrated by the author

  • Jeanne M. Lee is the author and illustrator of many books, including The Song of Mu Lan and Silent Lotus. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Available Formats and Book Details

I Once Was a Monkey

Stories Buddha Told

Jeanne M. Lee; Illustrated by the author

  • Hardcover

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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