Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Patricia Crété
Illustrator: Bruno Wennagel, Mathieu Ferret
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Before the statues, the fame, and the worldwide religion, the Buddha was just a boy named Siddhartha. A lot of the Buddha’s story is a mixture of myth and history, but he was believed to have been born a prince in Nepal more than two thousand years ago. One day he was exploring and met religious men. He decided leave his family and follow the man in search of truth. On a journey of his own, he fasted for seven days and seven nights. After this, he found peace in the universe, and he became the Buddha. He then began to teach people, including his family, the things he had learned. A new religion, Buddhism, was formed, which continues to inspire people around the world today.
This easy-to-understand biography does a great job of summarizing what is known about the Buddha. It covers the main points in his life, but doesn’t go into Buddhist theology. This book has more words than the typical picture book, with a few short paragraphs on every other page, but the text is around a first- or second-grade reading level. Younger readers may also enjoy this book being read aloud to them. The cute illustrations accurately depict what is going on in the story and the words are formatted clearly with headings on each page of text. At the end of the book, the reader will find a timeline of Buddha’s life, along with a map of significant places, drawings, descriptions of significant people, and quick “did you know” facts.