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Three Questions : based on a story by Leo…

Three Questions : based on a story by Leo Tolstoy

by Jon J. Muth

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I liked this book because it was a great example of how to convey a very deep message in a way that appeals to young children. The way the author made most of the characters talking animals reminded me of African cautionary tales. I appreciated the way the author made the turtle seem extremely wise in contrast to the child's other friends. The pictures in this book were very pretty, but I am not sure that they were the most appealing to younger children. Ultimately, the book challenges the reader to think about deeper messages in regular seeming activities or events. The book gives a message about simplicity, appreciating those around you, and "living in the now." The beginning of the book is what can draw a young reader in and then the message of the book is clearly stated at the end. ( )
  ajfurman | Sep 9, 2014 |
Nikolai is curious for the answers to these three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right things to do? GIving their answers to these questions are his friends Pushkin the dog, Gogol the monkey, and Sonya the heron. Nikolai is still looking for the right answers so he pays a visit to Leo the turtle. During his visit, Nikolai helps a mother Panda and her baby and helps out Leo. Again, Nikolai asks the three questions to Leo. He points out that his questions have been answered.

The Three Questions teaches children about being a better person, and the most important thing to do is to help the one he needs help at that moment. If no one needs your assistance, then you help yourself. ( )
  kwolinski | Sep 4, 2014 |
Nikolai is a young boy who is curious in life. To better understand the world around him Nikolai turns to his animal friends, Sonya, Gogol, and Pushkin. Nikolai asks his friends three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? And what is the right thing to do? Although each of the animals answer Nikolai, he was still unsure so he goes to ask Leo, a turtle. Leo does not answer but instead lets Nikolai help him. As Nikolai helps Leo with his work, they hear a panda in the forrest needing help. Nikolai helps the Panda and her baby, but afterwards, he is still frustrated and feels as though his three questions have not been answered. Leo then points out to the boy that his questions have been answered, and Nikolai finally figures it all out thanks to Leo.
This story is able to teach children of various ages about empathy and the importance of becoming a better person by helping those around you. It also helps a child better understand who they are. ( )
  SMLawrence | Sep 2, 2014 |
Leo Tolstoy cleverly tells a story about a boy searching for the right answers to life's common questions. This book can teach children that life is about how you handle the people and situations around you. Selflessness is the key factor in this lesson learning tale.
  SRThompson | Sep 2, 2014 |
Nikoli is a young boy who is feeling down. He wants and needs the answers to three simple questions.1. Who is the most important to you?2.What is the right thing to do?3.What is the best time to do things? He ask three animals but their answers all differ and reflect on themselves. He finally decides to ask the old and wise turtle. The turtle is digging and the boy immediately pitches in to help. After that he rescues a panda and her baby. He is still upset towards the end that he did not receive the answers, only to realize he figured them out already. The turtle tells him he did answer them and asks Nikoli questions about the events that day.After remembering how he helped the turtle and pandas he realized that the most important person is the one you are with.The right thing to do is to help the one you are with. And last but not least, the best time to do things is NOW. I would read this to my class at the beginning of the year to show them that if you do good for others you will be happy. They should live in the moment and do what is right at the time. For them to set goals and reach them because the time is NOW.I might also ask my students these three questions before I read the book. I would have them right down their answers and take a poll on which answers were common. We could compare and contrast them to the answers in the book. I would recommend this book for 2nd-5th graders. ( )
  marabie | Sep 1, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439199964, Hardcover)

Nikolai is a boy who believes that if he can find the answers to his three questions, he will always know how to be a good person. His friends--a heron, a monkey, and a dog--try to help, but to no avail, so he asks Leo, the wise old turtle. "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" Leo doesn't answer directly, but by the end of Nikolai's visit, the boy has discovered the answers himself.

Award-winning illustrator Jon J Muth's lovely watercolors are the most appealing aspect of this book about compassion and living in the moment. The simple Zen-based profundity of the boy's philosophical exploration may escape young readers, but they will enjoy the tale of a child who, in doing good deeds (for a panda and her baby, no less!), finds inner peace. Muth based his story on a short story of the same title by Leo Tolstoy. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:43 -0400)

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Nikolai asks his animal friends to help him answer three important questions: "When is the best time to do things?" "Who is the most important?" and "What is the right thing to do?"

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