cover image The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching

The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching

Demi, . . S&S/McElderry, $21.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1206-4

D emi (Jesus ) introduces another thought-provoking new entry to her spiritual leaders series of books. This crisply designed volume is beautiful to look at, filled with Chinese symbolism and the author-illustrator's signature gold accents. A gold circle frames each delicate ink-and-watercolor image, echoing the circular symbol of t'ai chi, or “the harmony of Heaven” that opens and closes the book. However, the text is a sophisticated blend of legend (Lao Tzu was an 81-year-old man when he was born and lived to be 160), biography (he was keeper of the archives for the Court of Chou) and verses of the Tao Te Ching (the book that is said to fulfill Lao Tzu's mission to “help humanity live according to the Way of Heaven”), which may well prove puzzling to little ones. Students of Eastern religion or those who already embrace this faith tradition/spiritual philosophy will likely be the most enthusiastic explorers this book, though there is plenty here for any curiosity seeker—or Demi fan—to admire. Ages 7-10. (May)