The Death of Echadon: How Buddhism Came to Silla
By Edward B. Adams.
Seoul International Publishing House: Seoul, 1986.
32 pp. $7.50. Charles E. Tuttle, distributor.

forchildren_0This ancient legend recalls how the people of Korea, who once rejected Buddhism in order to preserve their own traditions, later came to embrace the teachings of Shakyamuni. Two successive kings from Silla believe that Buddhism will bring peace and happiness to their kingdom. They try to convince the people and the stubborn palace officials of the need for Buddhist understanding. The second king is perplexed and without hope until he grants an audience to a sincere young man named Echadon. Echadon loves the Buddha’s teachings and offers to die in order to bring about a miracle that will change the hearts of the people.

In the end, Echadon witnesses the changes he had hoped for. The king and queen then set an example by taking vows as a monk and a nun, which will provide an American reader of any age with an enlightened view of royalty.

Where is Tibet?
Text and illustrations by Gina Halpern.
Tibetan translations by Ngawang Jorden. 
Snow Lion Publications: Ithaca, N. Y., forthcoming. 
48 pp. $18.95/$12.95 (paperback).

With detailed and sensitive drawings, Gina Halpern creates a charming full-color picture book. Few illustrators have been able to capture Tibetan style and imagery in a modern format, but Halpern succeeds with both humor and originality. Two Tibetan children lead us to their homeland, seeming to climb up out of the picture book to act as the reader’s personal guides to the Himalayan kingdom.

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