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Three Questions : based on a story by Leo…
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Three Questions : based on a story by Leo Tolstoy

by Jon J. Muth

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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 |
Sometimes, you're right where you need to be ( )
  jrsearcher | Feb 12, 2015 |
The main idea of this book is to don’t worry about the future and live in the present. I liked this book for two reasons. First, the water colored illustrations of the book were very appealing and helped me visualize the story easily. The illustrations where it was raining and Nikolai had to help the panda were really cool! Lastly, I liked how the plot was setup. Nikolai asked his friends to help him, but were not much of help and Nikolai found his own answers with the help of Leo. ( )
  moaks1 | Feb 9, 2015 |
Nicoli is struggling with 3 simple questions. When is the best time to do things? What is the right thing to do? Who is the most important one? The author has him go through a series of adventures and problems until he finds the answers. I enjoyed how the author had the boy figure out the answers for himself. This book shows many great lessons and was easy to read. The book was also interesting and the pictures were great. I think young readers would really enjoy it. I loved the lesson it taught. Nicoli realized at the end there is only one important time and it is now. The important one is the one you are with and the important thing is to do good by the one standing by your side. ( )
  pnieme1 | Feb 9, 2015 |
In my opinion this is a great book that sends an excellent message to young readers. The language is very descriptive and the story provides you with points of views from several different characters. The boy in the story wants answers to three important questions and the answers are provided from a bird, dog, monkey, and a turtle. The illustrations went along wonderfully with the story and kept me engaged while reading. I do think that this book has a more mature message for readers to understand so, younger readers may not get the point of the story. In the end the boys questions are answered and end up being the main message of the story. The most important time is now, the most important person is the one you are with, and the most important thing is what you do for the one by your side. The story sends an excellent message to always be there for your friends and to help others when needed. ( )
  agassa1 | Feb 9, 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 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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