Monday, March 28, 2011
The Three Questions
Sometimes you come across a decent book. At times you may be lucky and pick up one that's pretty good. But rare are the times when a book is perfect. A book which carries a message where everyone can take something away from. And which is beautifully illustrated. Not the pretty 'awww, that's cute' illustrations. But the kinds of illustrations which contribute to the written word in a way that completes the experience to perfection.
Several years ago, during a scholastic books bookfair I came across one such book. It is titled 'The Three Questions' and is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy. This book is written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth.
The story begins thus...
There once was a boy named Nikolai who sometimes felt uncertain about the right way to act. 'I want to be a good person,' he told his friends. 'But I don't always know the best way to do that.'
The story deals with three main questions of life.
Nikolai's friends are a a heron named Sonya, Gogol, a capuchin (by the looks of it) monkey, and Puskin, a gorgeous borzoi.
In the story, Nikolai asks his friends three questions. And the three friends give him honest answers, as they see them. But as Nikolai ponders the three different answers he realizes that their answers didn't seem quite right to him. So, he decides to visit Leo. Leo, the turtle, whose ancient wisdom would surely guide him.
I will let the story tell the rest.
It is a timeless message which transcends age, gender and creed and I encourage you to read this book. And if you have done so already, ready it again.