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by Demi

illustrated by Demi


School Library Journal:

Gr 3 Up- Tibet is a timely topic. However, in telling the story of the political and religious leader of the country, Demi does not aim at trendiness, controversy, or even high drama. This picture-book biography speaks simply and  respectfully of the history and the mission of the Dalai Lama. The author focuses on the search for, and childhood of, the 14th reincarnation of the “ocean of wisdom.” As a boy, he was both mischievous and mysterious, with ordinary childlike traits as well as deep spirituality. His accession to temporal power coincided with Chinese Communist control over Tibet, and at the age of 24, in the face of the Cultural Revolution’s “madness,” the Dalai Lama went into permanent exile. The last pages stress his universal message of peace and his compassion for his people. Demi’s figures in this book are nearly as tiny as ever, but the format and watercolor-brushed Himalayas convey the sweep of the Tibetan setting, while minute details suggest the grandeur of its culture. Unlike Buddha Stories (Holt, 1997), this book is as colorful as the country it depicts, and uses gold as a color rather than a glittering line. Few readers will be able to resist the combination of the exotic background, the human interest of the main character, and the vision of peace he represents. This is a book as beautiful as it is moving, and one hopes it will make an impression on as many sensitive children as possible. -Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George’s School, Newport, RI


  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Middle Readers Category: 1998


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Biography, Non-fiction