cover image One Hand Clapping: Zen Stories for All Ages

One Hand Clapping: Zen Stories for All Ages

Rafe Martin, Junko Morimoto, Manuela Soares. Rizzoli International Publications, $19.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1853-2

This thought-provoking collection, designed ``for the tender heart that children and adults naturally share,'' provides a window onto the contemplative nature of Buddhism. The selections offer many layers of meaning for different levels of interest. Whether they concern a baby fish asking a wise old fish to explain the sea (""When you swim you reveal its presence. It's just because it's so close to you that it's very hard to see"") or a would-be swordsman who must first learn patience before he learns his desired skill, the stories all illumine, stimulate, instruct and ultimately hint at ageless truths. Like beads on a necklace, the stories are strung together and unified by Morimoto's (My Hiroshima) agile illustrations. Her diverse styles range from watercolors to pen-and-ink, from charcoals to cartoons. Gracefully compiled and beautifully designed, this is a one-of-a-kind book. All ages. (May)