Zen Ties: 09/30/12
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth is the sequel to Zen Shorts. Stillwater helps Michael prepare for his spelling bee while teaching the neighborhood children the importance of perspective.
The book opens with a visit from Stillwater's nephew, Koo, who speaks only in haiku. Stillwater has offered to help a neighbor who is feeling poorly. He invites the children along to help. Although they go, they are reluctant, believing the neighbor is too grumpy to want them visiting. It turns out she is a retired English teacher. She ends up being both a new friend and the perfect person to help Michael.
Zen Ties like Zen Shorts is a very quiet book. It's also as many of the reviews have noted, "deceptively simple." On the surface the story's just about preparing for a spelling bee, meeting a nephew and helping out a neighbor. But each of these scenes are lessens that can be expanded through conversation in the classroom.