cover image Buddha


Susan L. Roth. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-385-31072-7

In a lucid text and characteristically vivid cut-paper collages, Roth tells the story of Buddha, from his mother's dream of ``carrying a milky-white elephant in her swollen belly'' to the day he casts off his finery to become a holy man. She chronicles his transition from sheltered prince to concerned young man as he ventures beyond the walls of his garden paradise. The sudden realities of old age, disease and death resonate against a backdrop of luscious nature and youthful servants, conveyed here in richly hued scenes dominated by scatterings of flowers. Roth's writing stresses the vitality of this tale from one of the world's great religions; she underscores its impact with a factual afterword. The collages here are especially beautiful, radiant in color and zestful in spirit. They hum with details of another culture, and yet retain a universal simplicity. Ages 5-9. (May)