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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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This is Jon J. Muth's adaptation of Tolstoy's short story with the same name. It's a beautiful journey of a young boy trying to answer 'When is the best time to do things?, Who is the most important one? and What is the right thing to do?.' After talking with his three friends about their beliefs, he goes on a journey where he speaks with the wise tortoise. In the end, it is only through personal experience and action that he learns the answers to his questions.
  npetzold | Nov 6, 2015 |
32 months - What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? So many possible answers... nice illustrations and makes you think. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
This is a compelling fable that teaches readers to alway be your best. I liked his book because of this overall message that was delivered in an imaginative and effective way. A boy named Nikolai was on a journey to discover the answer to three questions, "What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" I liked this book because of how well the author effectively developed the main character to deliver the book's message to the reader. For example, when Nikolai travels to the top of a mountain to ask Leo the turtle his three questions he notices that the turtle needs help digging, so he helps. He also helps a Panda and her baby when they are in danger. At the end of the book, the turtle commends the boy for his noble actions and brings to light that the answer to his questions are relative to that particular moment in time. For instance, the most important one when Nicolai was digging was Leo the turtle.
The big idea in this story is that there is no one size fits all answer because everyone is different and therefor everyone will handle situations in a unique way depending on the circumstances and what is important to them at that moment. ( )
  nlinco1 | Apr 24, 2015 |
The pictures are gorgeous. I fundamentally disagree with the message of the text and am not convinced by this presentation of it. Sorry.

edit - after enjoying Zen Ties a *lot* I want to give Muth's other works another try, especially this one.

edit the second - re-read. I still disagree with the implication that that one doesn't need to reach out or plan ahead, that living in the moment is sufficient. But, unto itself, the moral of the Now is important, and it is also true that fretting is fruitless. So, a re-read gave me more insight. I also read more works of eastern philosophy between reads of this, and that probably helped. A companion with whom to discuss this would help me appreciate it more, too, I'm sure.

So, bottom line, I actually bumped the rating of this two stars, and I do recommend it to people who are ready to hear the message, especially if they have some sort of foundation, scaffold, or support to help them do so. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Based on story by Leo Tolstoy. Story in which Nikolai wants the answer to three questions in order to be a good person: 1) When is the best time to do things? 2) Who is the most important one? 3) What is the right thing to do?

His friends give him several different perspectives, all of which seem unsatisfactory to Nikolai, who then seeks out the wisdom of the turtle, Leo, who has lived a long time. Through a series of events in which Nikolai helps the turtle and an injured panda and her baby, Leo helps Nikolai understand that the most important time is now, the most important person is the one you're with, and do good for those who are next to you.

Great conversation starter about questioning and priorities in life. I don't necessarily agree with the final answer, but this book has the potential to generate good conversation and thought provoking questions and many perspectives. ( )
  zsvandyk | Mar 2, 2015 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:36 -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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