Review: Where’s Buddha by Marisa Aragon Ware

You guys, I’m a bookseller, and that means I’m picking up books all the time: new books I happen to check in at my store, used books I see on the shelf, ARCs and finished copies at conferences. I’m also a book tourist, so I stop by independent bookstores whenever I travel and buy at least one book every time. All this is to say, tonight I was looking through the picture book department of my home’s bookshelves for something we haven’t read at bedtime the last 600 consecutive nights, and I saw this little picture book and thought, “Where the heck did I even get that? How long has it been here? How have I not noticed it in the last 600 nights of trying to not read the same book over and over?” I can answer none of these questions.

Thing you should know about my household: Husband is staunchly Methodist, I am spiritual but not religious, and we did not discuss at all before having children how we were going to raise them, religiously. We are now over two years into raising our shared boys, and we still haven’t discussed it. Since I don’t really need a discussion, as I’m all for getting them familiar and comfortable with all faiths, I just haven’t broached it.

Where’s Buddha? is not a particularly Buddhist book. It’s very simple text that just implies that the spiritual is in everything. It just so happens to do so with Buddha. Since I am not terribly familiar with the specifics of Buddhism, I like it as an entry-level picture book that as my children get older may bring up some questions we can look into together. The illustrations are gorgeous, with eye-drawing color and just enough details to keep my toddler engaged. We will definitely add it to our bedtime rotation, now that I know it’s there.

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