Out Of Print
“The temple monks are wise and worthy. It is an honour to be a temple monk. They are considered holy and chose. And all of them are chosen – all but the garden boy.
The monks often leave the temple. They are searching the world for enlightenment.
All of them travel around the world but two: the garden boy and the old blind monk who, day after day, sits meditating at the temple gate.”
In this radiant story, a small boy is left at the gates of a Buddhist temple and is adopted by the monks who live there. While the other monks travel throughout the world seeking enlightenment, the boy stays home to tend the temple gardens. He befriends a blind monk who sits by the garden gate, too old to travel.
AWARDS: Selected as part of the Notables list for consideration for the Amelia Francis Howard Gibbon Award for 2001
Nominated for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Medal – the best illustrated English language children’s book of the year published in Canada in 1999-2000. This presitigious award is sponsored by the Canadian Library Association (CLA).
REVIEWS:”Many parents and people who work with children have been struggling to help them understand last week’s attacks in New York and Washington. Today on Kidstuff, Anne Spencer has a book that may let kids find a little peace.”
Listed in the National Post’s seasonal round-up entitled “The Season’s Best “. They had this to say, “…some grand pairings triumph, as in the full-blown romanticism of Huang Zhong-Yang’s illustrations for Buddha in the Garden and David Bouchard’s reverential story about a lowly gardener orphan.”
“Of as much interest to adults as it will be to thoughtful children, the tale promises to be that enlightenment is waiting for any who wish to seek it–right there in our own gardens.” Publishers Weekly (October 29.2001)
Because this book stems from a story that Yang told me fifteen years ago…I choose to quote the artist’s comment…
“Our story is based on the four Buddhist signs of enlightenment: hunger, sickness, death and seeking enlightenment. Our story is ageless. It could have taken place 2,500 years ago or it could be happening in the Himalayan Mountains of today… The four signs of Buddhist enlightenment, they are real. And the old, blind monk in this story – he is real. I spent an entire day painting him. I did not ask his permission, nor did we speak – not a single word in the entire day. The only time I heard his voice was when I stood to leave. He said, “Thank you for spending this day with me, friend.” – Zhong-Yang Huang.