An’s Seed

2017 Honorable Mention – Children’s Literature

An’s Seed by Zaozao Wang, illustrated by Li Huang, translated by Helen Wang (Candied Plums; Bilingual edition)

A gentle fable about mindfulness, An’s Seed follows the actions of three young monks – Ben, Jing, and An – who are given the task of growing a lotus plant from a seed.  One monk is too impetuous, one misguided, and one patient and wise.  The illustrations have a simple charm befitting the story.  The bilingual text may prove a bit awkward for non-Chinese readers, though.  The central story is in Chinese; the English text is presented again at the end with smaller pictures.  Nevertheless, its lesson on following the natural order and choosing thoughtful action is praiseworthy.  A glossary of words and expressions is included for language learners.