Zen books for kids: worth reading?

Zen books for kids: worth reading?

People say that reading is essential to kids. It helps them to understand the world, find friends and let the imagination flourish. Today we have all different sort of literature for kids. The market is growing, there are more and more authors and new people in kidlit, and books are not only printed but also presented online with a possibility to interact with a reader.

We made a huge step nurturing kids’ desire and need to read and be engaged in a story.

The life cycle or kid reading is kind of predictable: they start with simple tales about animals and go to more complicated stories where animals start to play more roles more related to humans. There’s no more just a “crane” or a “wolf” living in the real world without any relation to people. This is what we usually have in simple tales. As kids grow, they have a need to socialize, this is where a rabbit becomes a Father Rabbit and acquires a personality and behavior of a human, still being presented as an animal.

When a kid comes to the age where he or she stops being a kid and starts being a teenager, they prefer reading about people and the world around them. They engage in stories about schoolmates, boys and girls having the same troubles as they do: friends, school, new hobbies, parents and so on.

And then the reading cycle comes to the period when a kid either stops reading at all or find a favorite genre and moves to the literature for adults.

There’s an interesting exception, though. Zen books usually do not have any sort of limitation for the age of a reader. I discovered my first Zen book (for kids) when I was a very deep adult, but it did not confuse me for a moment. Even though the book was presented in a kidlit sphere, with illustrations and not so much text in it, it struck me how much meaning it might have.

No matter what age your kid or you are today. Zen books don’t restrict you from reading it. It concerns all the fundamental problems and thoughts we face every day. We live the life, no matter what age we are, either we five or ten or fifteen, the struggle of existence and the meaning of existence and joy of life are something that follows us all the time and everywhere. You may do not like horror stories, romance, thriller, old-fashioned tales or murder mystery. But you know what it means to live this life and what it means to be a human being.

There are some thoughts about why it is a good idea to read a Zen book:

1. Illustrations. All Zen books I saw had a very well-drawn, high-quality illustrations with plain and soothing colors. And even though in some books it is possible to look at the illustration for ages, the pictures in Zen books have their unique charm underlying the beauty of life and world around us.

2. Interaction of a human and an animal. As I wrote before, you usually see either only animals or only humans as main characters in books. For Zen books all the living creatures are equal.

The life we share is pretty much the same for everyone: an animal and a human, interacting with each other, show the complexity of the world and highlight how much sometimes we miss out in our daily routine, not paying attention to what we do.

3. It always contains a deep meaning. Finishing a Zen book you usually feel a bit lost as it usually happens after watching a great movie or playing an interesting video game with an amazing plot.

There’s nothing complex in the book, it is plain and simple, but  it makes you think about you and your life.

4. It is plain and simple. I said it already, but I think I need to pinpoint it again. All Zen books are written in simple language, and it demands a certain level of skill of an author. Because he or she has to explain a fundamental idea about life, the pace of life and its meaning. Where complex phrases and elaborate sentences may ruin the main idea, which will evaporate at the moment when complexity comes in.

5. It is a valuable item to your home library. It is. Even if you do not find this reading fascinating and do not want to see anything more then written words or pictures presented to you, one day you’ll find yourself looking at the book and paging through without your own intention.

The meaning of life is bothering all of us from time to time, no matter how old or young you are, in which country you live and what goals you pursue.

One day you just start questioning “Why?” Of course, Zen books won’t give you the answer you expected, maybe, nothing will, but it may give you a clue which way to head to.

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