Cover image for Becoming Buddha : the story of Siddhartha
Becoming Buddha : the story of Siddhartha
1st North American ed.
Publication Information:
[Torrance, Calif.] : Heian, 2005.
Physical Description:
[32] p. : col. ill. ; 22 x 29 cm.
Reading Level:
Ages 12 and up.
Added Author:
"In a vast kingdom beneath the Himalayan foothils, a child of wisdom was born. Prince Siddhartha was raised in luxury and educated to become the next ruler. But one day the yough prince looked beyond his royal palace. He witnessed sickness, misery, and death and vowed to overcome these afflictions. Siddhartha gave up weathl and family life and put on the simple robes of a wanderer. His spiritual journey was a long and twisting, but it ended under a sacred Bodhi tree. In meditation, Siddhartha learned the truth of universal wisdom. He became a Buddha, an enlightened on. And for the rest of his life, he taught others the way to inner peace."--P. [4] of cover.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 294.3 STE 1 1

On Order

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Stewart tells the traditional story of the life of Prince Siddhartha, beginning with the prophecies about his future greatness and the impact that the suffering of others will have on him. To keep the knowledge of suffering from the child, the king surrounded his son with a life of plenty. But even in the royal palace, the prince saw jealousy and the desire for power and decided to look beyond its walls. He discovered the great truths of "ordinary" life-sickness, old age, death-and began his quest to find a way to relieve humanity of pain. Rippin's illustrations feature decorative beadwork as well as richly hued paint and black backgrounds; in some ways, they resemble the paintings on lacquered Asian cabinets. Story and art are printed so that the book's binding is at the top instead of to the left, creating long vertical pages, a variation sure to appeal to young readers. Along with Anne Rockwell's The Prince Who Ran Away (Knopf, 2001), Becoming Buddha joins Hitz Demi's Buddha (Holt, 1996) on the slender shelf of books aiming not at critical biography, but rather at a more seamless retelling with a direct narrative arc. Libraries that own either Rockwell's or Demi's books may opt not to purchase this one, but for those that need a beginning biography of one of the world's greatest religious leaders, it's a fine introduction to his life and teachings.-Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

The story of how Siddhartha left his palace, studied meditation, and gained enlightenment is retold in simple language, one episode per page. The illustrations in rich browns and saffron on black backgrounds?feature human figures with compelling eyes. A ""How to Meditate"" section is included. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Sandwiched between opening and closing comments from the Dalai Lama, this spiritual biography of the Buddha imparts the major events of Siddhartha's journey to enlightenment with a combination of stylized prose--"At a time when the oldest Bodhi trees in Asia were still in youthful bloom, Queen Maya had a dream"--and equally stylized images of the large-eyed, long-eared holy man surrounded by silver beaded spirals and lotus flowers. Not so grand, nor so rich in detail, as Demi's version (1996), this still makes a suitable brief introduction to the origins, ideals and spirit of Buddhism. (sideways format, historical afterword) (Picture book/biography. 8-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. A stirring message from the fourteenth Dalai Lama introduces this picture-book biography, written by a practicing Buddhist. Stewart follows Buddha from pre-birth prophecies through his pampered youth, his break with royal life, and his quest for enlightenment. Children new to meditation may have trouble grasping the ideas in a few passages about the process, described as a natural state of mind, free from the distraction of . . . senses and the space between thoughts . . . But these descriptions also lend the narrative accessibility by explaining more about the activity that occupies Buddha through so much of the story, and an appended meditation exercise--a good choice for young beginners--may increase children's interest in the subject. Rippin's painted collage art, in spare, oblong spreads that stretch above and below the book's spine, keeps the focus on the large, naive-style figures, accented with saffron yellow and lapis-blue patterns. Pair this Australian import with the titles listed in the January 2002 Read-alikes feature Beginning Buddhism. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2005 Booklist