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The Three Questions

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4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  3,545 Ratings  ·  439 Reviews
What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Nikolai knows that he wants to be the best person he can be, but often he is unsure if he is doing the right thing. So he goes to ask Leo, the wise turtle. When he arrives, the turtle is struggling to dig in his garden, and Nikolai rushes to help him. As he finishes work, a vi ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Scholastic Press
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Jonathan Lin
Sep 27, 2011 Jonathan Lin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Never read Tolstoy's Three Questions. I bought this book at Callan Books in Stratford Ontario.

It strikes me as a very thoughtful book with a constant interplay between light and dark. Cute animals talk to each other, but there is a streak of selfishness, strife, conflict, and fear running through the pages. The illustrations are expansive and uses weather as a main indicator of light and dark. The main emotive line is questioning brought by fear - what if I miss the right time, what if I miss th
...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Jon J. Muth از معدود افرادیه که با داستان هاش میتونه فلسفه رو برای بچه ها در هر سنی توضیح بده، جوری که براشون جذاب باشه و باهوش ترشون کنه. داستان هاش خنده دارن ولی مهم ترین نکته ش اینه که خردمندانه س و نکته های فلسفی رو به طرز جالبی بیان میکنه. حیوانات رو به طرز قشنگی در داستان قرار داده. داستان کوتاهیه، ولی هرچی لازم بود بگه رو میگه. نقاشی های آبرنگش هم زیباست.


Remember then, that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And t
...more
Zoie TouchstoneZ
Nov 04, 2011 Zoie TouchstoneZ rated it liked it
I vaguely remember reading the original Tolstoy short story in college and found it to be plodding and heavy-handed, but that was my rebellious, immature self. I did adore his novel-lengths works. If I ever decide to delve into Russian lit again, I may have a different reaction. But, I share this with you as it may color this review.

The Three Questions tells the story of a boy, named Nikolai, and his three questions,

When is the best time to do things?
Who is the most important one?
What is the
...more
Karli Eller
Nov 03, 2015 Karli Eller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
The Three Questions is the story of a boy named Nikolai who desires to be a good person and yet is unsure of how to become what he desires. This book would be perfect for a read aloud for middle grades elementary classes. It provides so many questions that could be pondered without the need for a “right answer”. What do you think it takes to be a good person? Is it enough to want to be a good person or should you have to act on those principles? Are good people always good?

Nikolai’s quest to det
...more
Atziri
Nov 26, 2011 Atziri rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that can be used to introduce Zen Philosophy to young children and teenagers. The book is an adaptation from Leo Tolstoy's short story "The Three Questions" published in 1903.

The story is about young Nikolai and his quest to answer the following three questions: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? He asks several of his animal friends who consider the questions carefully and all answer differently. Nikolai then d
...more
Skylar Burris
Dec 14, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it liked it
The book is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy and, not surprisingly, it therefore has some depth. However, the author unnecessarily altered the story, presumably to make it more accessible to children. This shows a lack of appreciation for a child's ability to appreciate more serious and somewhat darker themes, and replacing an enemy who wishes to harm with a panda in need of help also completely circumvents the message of the virtue of loving one's enemies. As for my daughter's reaction to the st ...more
Dale Barlow
Dec 29, 2016 Dale Barlow rated it it was amazing
based on a story by Leo Tolstoy (chi) young Nikolai seeks counsel from Leo, the wise old turtle who lives in the mountains to three (3) questions. Then Nicolai responds to a stranger’s cry, which answers the questions for himself. Profound, simple book that one could read and read again. 2002 hardback, found when our daughter was cleaning up our attic. Unnumbered pgs.; 5 out of 5 stars; finished Dec. 28, 2016/#59
Kathleen Hickey
Mar 20, 2016 Kathleen Hickey rated it it was amazing
The Three Questions tells a beautiful story of a young boy named Nikolai searching for answers to his questions: "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?" Nikolai asks some of his animal friends, but is not satisfied with their answers. He asks the wise old turtle Leo, and along the way helps a panda and her baby in need. Leo explains that Nikolai has found his answer, and he teaches a lesson about living in the now and doing good for tho ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Jan 03, 2017 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing
This was the next book in the Story Cure challenge. The Three Questions is mentioned as a book for grown-ups in the book and rightly so. For anyone who has ever questioned life and its workings, this picture book is definitely for you.

“The Three Questions” is a book written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth and based on the same story by Leo Tolstoy. At the heart of the story, there is a boy named Nikolai who just wants answers to three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most
...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 09, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
I have read this author/illustrator’s books Zen Shorts and Zen Ties. This is another book that can be used to introduce Zen philosophy to kids. In this story, which he takes from Leo Tolstoy’s story of the same name, I do appreciate how he adapted Tolstoy’s work and made up a tale of his own.

It’s got a good moral (basically that of living in the moment and doing good/helping others) but it seemed a little too moralistic to me, even though the story was entertaining so I guess I’m not really com
...more
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
The Three Questions. / Jon Muth. / 2002.

Genre: Fiction.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, "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?'" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
friendship, spirituality, questions & answers

Review citation:
"Muth's large-size pict
...more
Tanner Greyn
Feb 19, 2015 Tanner Greyn rated it it was amazing
Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, Jon Muth address the same questions is his version of the story about a boy, Nikolai, who looks for the answers to his three questions. Nikolai asks his friends what they think about his questions but when Nikolai is not satisfied with their answers, he goes and asks Leo, the turtle. Leo teaches Nikolai the importance of living in the moment as that is the answer to Nikolai's questions.

Jon Muth shows the story of Nikolai and his three questions with a variety of
...more
Karen
Feb 12, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book caught my eye as I was reshelving books my grandchildren had examined during their recent visit. Although I read the book several years ago, I decided it was time for me to reread it as I ponder the next steps I want to take in my life's journey. If you have not read this book, please read no further. The following quote is one I will post on my refrigerator and read frequently:

Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always t
...more
Saiisha
Mar 06, 2016 Saiisha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Loved this large picture book - the simple story, the pleasing watercolors, and the profound moral at the end - reminded me of Panchatantra stories of my childhood :)

The story is based on Leo Tolstoy's short story of the same name, but the characters and the story-line is formatted for young readers.

Catherine from Natural Healing Connection had recommended it to her readers: http://www.naturalhealingconnection.c...
and I'm glad I found it!!
Stephen  Alff (AlffBooks)
This was a very interesting read, very short and could easily be read in less than 10 minutes I believe. I liked the moral of the story and how the characters are displayed.
One of the great things that I look for in a short story that I look for in a short story is: simplicity. I am not looking for sub-plots or characters that are described in full detail, what I am looking for is a coherent, well-written story that goes around one main idea and this short story succeeded in doing so.
k.wing
Jan 04, 2011 k.wing rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated, this children's book based on a book by Leo Tolstoy seeks to answer three of the most asked questions throughout history. I think the lesson is important and is valuable for children to learn. I will be reading this book to my kids one day.
Shannon O'Donnell
Aug 29, 2008 Shannon O'Donnell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite picture books. The three questions asked by Nikolai are a wonderful way to get kids and adults thinking about right and wrong. I have had wonderful, hour-long discussions with my high school students based on this short but powerful story. I recommend it for ALL ages!
JaNise
May 15, 2012 JaNise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Wonderful book. Wonderful message. Live and enjoy each present moment.
Brittany
May 11, 2010 Brittany rated it it was amazing
One of my most favorite books! The illustrations are wonderful too!
Michael Hitchcock
Jun 12, 2017 Michael Hitchcock rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie
Dec 28, 2016 Carrie rated it it was amazing
This book centers on a young boy's existential questions:
What is the best time to do things?
Who is the most important one?
What is the right thing to do?
His invaluable lesson comes from an unlikely event where he realizes "there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side...This is why we are here."
Heron
May 06, 2017 Heron rated it really liked it
As parables go, this one is fairly heavy-handed. My 6yo kiddo likes it, but I find it a bit cloying. The boy's three friends are odd ciphers who don't accompany the boy on his journey.

The watercolors are gorgeous, particularly the use of contrast when showing the poor pandas in the rain.
Anna
I seriously doubt that Jon J. Muth can create anything less than a masterpiece when it comes to children's literature. Gorgeous artwork, and a beautiful retelling from the original story by Leo Tolstoy (another favorite of mine!)
Vanessa Dyne
Jul 10, 2017 Vanessa Dyne rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations. Love the message of being present for each moment. Truly lovely book.
Roberta
Nov 28, 2016 Roberta rated it it was amazing
I read this to my three year old today. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Take the time and read this one. You won't be disappointed.
Janett
Jun 28, 2017 Janett rated it it was amazing
Although a children's picture book, it is all that is needed for a guide for how to live. Beautiful!
Paula
Jan 22, 2017 Paula rated it really liked it
This gift was given to our firstborn as a gift. It is a lovely story based on Tolstoy's writings.
Bloodorange
Piękna graficznie, mądra, kojąca dziecko i rodzica książka.

I to uczucie, kiedy odkrywasz na nowo fascynującego artystę komiksowego po prawie dwudziestu latach - jako autora i ilustratora książek, które czytasz swoim dzieciom:)
Megan Richards
Oct 09, 2016 Megan Richards rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations with a beautiful message. Added this one to Iona's shelf.
Michelle C
Jul 07, 2016 Michelle C rated it it was amazing
"The Three Questions" is one of the books on my son's school summer reading list. I read it together with my 9-yo daughter and my 6-yo son. I believe the humans are naturally good and in order to be a good person, the book raised three questions that we should constantly ask ourselves: 1. When is the best time to do things? 2. Who is the most important one? 3. What is the right thing to do?

Nikolai, the boy, who wondered about the three questions in the book, asked his animal friends to help him
...more
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Jon J. Muth is an American comic artist. His works include J. M. DeMatteis' graphic novel Moonshadow, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: The Wake (along with Michael Zulli, Charles Vess), Mike Cary's Lucifer: Nirvana and Swamp Thing: Roots. Muth has gone on to an award-winning career as a children's book writer and illustrator. He received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators for his illustration ...more
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“Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. This is why we are here.” 45 likes
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