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Buddha in the Garden    by David Bouchard & Zhong-Yang Huang order for
Buddha in the Garden
by David Bouchard
Order:  USA  Can
Raincoast, 2001 (2001)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Buddha in the Garden, David Bouchard tells a meaningful Buddhist tale, illustrated by Zhong-Yang Huang's glorious paintings. The story begins as 'wise and worthy' monks leave their temple, searching the world in a quest for enlightenment.

The temple's garden boy was left with the monks as a baby, and raised reluctantly by them. He was never encouraged to seek enlightenment. But, as he goes about his chores, the blind, old monk whispers to him, 'Buddha is in the garden!' When the boy rests, he dreams of his mother, and wakes up to see a starving kitten. He cares for it. He dreams again, and wakes to a bird with a broken wing. He cares for it too. The next time, he wakes to a wilted, lifeless peony, and he dreams of his mother for the last time.

In a story based on 'the four Buddhist signs of enlightenment', a blind, old man teaches both the humble garden boy and wise temple monks important lessons. Though Buddha in the Garden is in picture book format, all ages can learn from it, and discuss it together.

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