The Golden Goose King:
The Golden Goose King:
Retold and Illustrated by Judith Ernst
Some of Asia's most stunning examples of Buddhist art illustrate episodes from the Jataka Tales, over 500 stories told by the Buddha himself. With this artistic tradition in mind, Parvardigar Press has published The Golden Goose King, a retelling of one of these tales, illustrated with meticulously finished opaque watercolor paintings based on early Buddhist art in India.
"In the cool of the evening the greatest man of his time would sit and discuss with his companions the events of the day. This would often be the occasion for him to tell a story about his adventures in other lifetimes. For all creatures Gotama the Buddha had come " So begins the introduction for one of those stories, The Golden Goose King, in which the Buddha is a magnificent golden goose, the king of a flock of 94,000 geese dwelling near the city of Benares. The Queen of Benares has a dream in which she converses with a beautiful and wise golden goose. Upon waking she realizes that it was only a dream, and yet it was so vivid that she longs to see such a goose in the flesh. This ardent wish propels the story through various episodes to its ultimate conclusion, illustrating the virtues of love, loyalty, and self-sacrifice.
This is a lovely story, simply told, which introduces young people to Buddhism and ancient India. But The Golden Goose King is more than a book for young readers. It is retold here with fidelity to its earliest versions, preserving its essentially Buddhist flavor, conveying both with its text and its glowing paintings the original charm and depth of this Jataka tale. It is truly one of those rare books to be enjoyed by people
of all ages.
Skipping Stones magazine announces the winners of the Third Annual Skipping Stones Book Awards, honoring exceptional contributions to children's literature. Skipping Stones, an international, nonprofit magazine, believes that human societies can flourish only if we are able to understand, and respect each other as equals and if our lifestyle is ecologically sustainable. For the 1996 awards, a multicultural committee of students, parents, teachers, librarians and Skippping Stones staff considered 100 books and magazines that publishers had entered. The books selected do an outstanding job of encouraging close relationships with nature and promoting intercultural understanding in our world.
"Slowly I turn the pages. Incredibly exquisite Indian art is blended with brief paragraphs of gentle, sensitively chosen words. Lingering on the last page, I remain in silent awe.
A thought passes through my mind that many stories I have read focus on visible events. The drama, miracle and power of The Golden Goose King is that the plot lies in the purity of the inner soul. Societies look for goodness and moral courage. This book offers us the way towards the achievement of this longing.
This Jataka Tale opens up with a gifted simplicity that can touch a child as well as speak to elders. Actions of thought, word and deed are created by the spirit dwelling within. I commend this book to you as a rare find." Hanna Still, Skipping Stones, Vol. 8 No.2, April/May 1996
* Skipping Stones Magazine, which gives the awards, is well-known in the educational community, having won a prize in 1995 given by the Educational Press Association of America for excellence in educational journalism.