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The Three Questions - Jon J. Muth

The Three Questions

Hardcover Published: March 2002
ISBN: 9780439199964
Number Of Pages: 32
For Ages: 6 - 7 years old

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Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, this exquisitely illustrated book explores the meaning of life. Full color.

Industry Reviews

* "A soaring achievement." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Moral without being moralistic, the tale sends a simple and direct message unfreighted by pomp or pedantry. Muth's art is as carefully distilled as his prose. A series of misty, evocative watercolors in muted tones suggests the figures and their changing relationships to the landscape." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review The Three Questions Muth (Come On, Rain!) recasts a short story by Tolstoy into picture-book format substituting a boy and his animal friends for the czar and his human companions. Yearning to be a good person, Nikolai asks, "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" Sonya the heron, Cogol the monkey and Pushkin the dog offer their opinions, but their answers do not satisfy Nikolai. He visits Leo, an old turtle who lives in the mountains. While there, he helps Leo with his garden and rescues an injured panda and her cub, and in so doing, finds the answers he seeks. As Leo explains, there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side." Moral without being moralistic, the tale sends a simple and direct message unfreighted by pomp or pedantry. Muth's art is as carefully distilled as his prose. A series of misty, evocative watercolors in muted tones suggests the figures and their changing relationships to the landscape. judicious flashes of color quicken the compositions, as in the red of Nikolai's kite (the kite, released at the end, takes on symbolic value). An afterword describes Tolstoy and his work. --Publishers Weekly, Feb.11, 2002, starred review Nikolai wants to be a good person but believes that he needs guidance. He has three important philosophical questions: "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" The answers will set him on the right path in life. He first asks his friends the heron, the monkey, and the dog, but their answers are colored by their own survival needs, and are helpful but not definitive. He goes to Leo the turtle, who is old and very wise. Nikolai's experiences while visiting Leo help him to find his own answers. Leo only needs to put them in words. Muth has created a magical

IN

ISBN: 9780439199964
ISBN-10: 0439199964
Audience: Children
For Ages: 6 - 7 years old
For Grades: 1 - 2
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 32
Published: March 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 31.12 x 26.04  x 0.64
Weight (kg): 0.54

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