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Zen Socks

(Zen #4)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  629 ratings  ·  134 reviews
The wisdom of Zen in an exciting new book by Caldecott honoree Jon J Muth!

Leo and Molly love their new neighborhood. Best of all is their friend Stillwater, a giant panda who lives across the way! And the three friends are quite a team! Stillwater teaches Molly about patience. Leo teaches Stillwater about sharing. And Molly shows how one act of kindness can make a world of
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Scholastic
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  629 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A less cohesive flow in this book makes for a slightly disconnected feel, but Stillwater comes through with his gentle lessons on patience, persistence, selflessness, and compassion.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Stillwater the Panda / Readers Looking for Buddhist Children's Books
Leo and Molly, their cat Moss, and their panda friend Stillwater return in this fourth picture-book devoted to their Zen-centered adventures. Much like the first book, Zen Shorts , we see Stillwater gently offering his young friends some lessons here, whether through story or example. When Molly is eager to become a skilled ballerina, Stillwater shares the tale, "The Taste of Banzo's Sword," which emphasizes the importance of patience, in any new venture. When Leo attempts to assign Stillwater ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
Lovely watercolors highlight this story of a philosophical bear and his human neighbors.
Another pleasant somewhat zen children's book with nice art. A bit preachy. But the parables work. And it's nice to see the Karate Kid story in yet another form - presumably a more original version. And the "it makes a difference to him" line is always worth driving home.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, arcs
Holy beautiful, thoughtful picture book of wonder. Loved. This is special.
Nadine Jones
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I ADORE all things Muth, his art is so very beautiful. So of course I adored looking at this. Maybe Stillwater has lost a bit of magic though, now that I "know" him, so this book didn't blow me away like the first few, but it's still a good read with lovely messages about persistence and patience, with beautiful art, and ... no socks. Nobody wears socks. Nobody is named "Socks."
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite in the serious but still lovely and highly recommended to all fans. My favorite story is the last, the starfish, because it's totally and currently relevant, makes it easier for all of us to do good right here right now.
Ever since I first discovered Jon J. Muth’s delightful picture books, I have regarded finding a new one with great enjoyment, and Zen Socks was no exception. What is most immediately striking about this lovely picture book is just that–the pictures. They are charming watercolors that have strong ties back to the old schools of Asian brush painting, yet they incorporate modern and adorable themes seamlessly. Very cute and beautiful both, with great composition and colors. And once you get done ga ...more
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2015
This series is probably my favorite picture book series ever. This one just didn't have the depth or appeal that the previous ones had for me, though. The lessons seemed obvious and almost silly.
Lovely lessons, wrapped up in a beautiful, quirky package, illustrated with Muth's signature watercolors. A winner!
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
3 lovely zen stories with beautiful illustrations
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I have read other books in the Zen series. Good book for kids.
Dione Basseri
Another adventure with Stillwater the panda, featuring two new kids as his students. But it's not just the kids who are learning. Stillwater also learns a few lessons from them, leaving all improved.

I'd have to put this book just above "Zen Ties" and just below "Zen Ghosts," with the first book, "Zen Shorts," far above at the top in quality. Of course, if your kid likes Stillwater, they're going to like him in whatever books Muth releases. I'm simply glad they've all been consistent in art quali
Joshua Buhs
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, b12
Not as good as Muth's other books.

I know, I know: now I'm that guy. "Author X and Y used to be great, but now he's not even funny." Sorry.

Which isn't to say this book isn't good. It is. Just compared to the excellence of his earlier books, it is lacking. The images are muddier. The set-up redundant. And the parables exhausted: especially borrowing the over-used one from Loren Eiseley about saving starfish.

These are worthy enough sentiments, and the moralizing is still done with a light-touch--t
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jon Muth does it again! His Zen classics can provide a field day of gentle lessons for young and old alike. We all learn from each other in surprising ways. Even the Zen master learns from others.
Highly recommended.
Jennifer Hendzlik
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Whenever I get stressed out, I go to the picture book stacks out in the library and hopefully find a copy of Zen Shorts. If not, I am patient and read my own copy when I get home. There is a lot going on that is ramping up my stress right now so I happily sat down to read Zen Socks waiting for the calm reflection Quietpuddle, I mean Stillwater, provides. I got the tiniest dose. Just enough that I know what I'm reading when I get home tonight.

Beautiful art work but the impact/meaning behind the
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was beautiful - the illustrations were gorgeous, and seemed Eastern-influenced without being done in an overt anime/manga style that would be...less calming than the actual product.
I also really liked the 3 stories (because this book *is* three stories, rather than one narrative) and thought they all were lessons worth learning. I appreciated the gentle teaching style, rather than something that would seem more like a lecture.

And apparently, I really need to read Zen Shorts,
Miss Ryoko
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you haven't read any of Jon J. Muth's Zen picture books, you need to go to your local library or bookstore immediately. There are such great (and easy to obtain) life lessons in these wonderfully illustrated pages for both young children and the adults who are reading these books to them. The lessons are accompanied by wonderful and inviting illustrations that will make you fall instantly in love with Stillwater and make you wish that you yourself could spend quality time with him.
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian) O'Donnell
Jon Muth's Zen Socks offers more of the quiet lessons that the "Zen" titles are known for. One of the things that I particularly enjoyed with this title was that Stillwater was learning lessons right alongside the children as opposed to simply offering wisdom. As beautiful as its predecessors, the illustrations in this volume will capture your heart as well as your imagination. Stunning, and absolutely a must-read.
Miss Erica
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has three separate lessons on patience, understanding others, and making a difference a little at a time. What I love about the Zen books is that there is always a deep message that can help us think critically! Join Stillwater and his neighbors as they learn about the world and themselves together, at home and on the beach.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Lovely watercolor illustrations are a highlight of this third book in Jon J. Muth's series of Zen stories featuring a panda named Stillwater.

interesting quote:

"'What's his name again?' asked Leo. 'Mister...Quietpuddle?'" (p. 6)

Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
The illustrations are magnificent. The story of the starfish is one of my favorites. I would give this five stars but I felt that it should have been a series of books rather than one book. The three parts seemed disjointed to me and I wish that they had flowed together better. Other than that, I highly recommend this one.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There is just something so.... Zen about Jon J. Muth's picture books. (Hello, Captain Obvious) Stillwater holds a very special place in my reader heart. I love the message of persistence in Zen Socks. Could definitely be a good text to use if you're teaching habits of mind.
Sara Grochowski
I adored this new book from Muth. Rather than one continuous story, it reads more as 3 short stories, each with a specific message. As always, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stillwater has some quiet adventures with his neighbors and retells stories which are deeper than they seem.
Ana LibrariAna
Summary: A brother and sister, Leo and Molly, have moved to a new neighbourhood. And they like it a lot. One of the things they like the most is a giant panda named Stillwater. He lives across from them and soon becomes their friend.He plays with them and through stories teaches them valuable lessons. He taught Molly, who wanted to be a a great ballerina after practising for just a day, about patience and perseverance. He taught Leo about sharing, after he wanted them to play together, but dicta ...more
Timons Esaias
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
My wife and I are big fans of Muth's Stillwater books, and we especially adore the paintings. This one's title (which logically follows from the earlier Zen Ties and Zen Shorts) is a little obscure, since Stillwater is only wearing socks on the cover, the title page, and one scene in a dance sequence. Hmmm. A koan?

The book is made of four episodes, two of which are attributed to famous stories; "The Taste of Banzo's Sword" and Loren Eiseley's (via Joel A. Barker) "The Star Thrower." The opening
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to "Zen Shorts" also by Jon Muth. In this story, Stillwater has two new neighbors and they have a cat named "Moss". Still water teaches the children lessons on having patience when learning a new skill, that everyone has it in them to be a bad guy but they seldom ever mean to be a bad guy, and even the smallest act of kindness is important even if it feels like that act makes no difference at all. The illustrations are watercolor and ink and truly help each story come to life. T ...more
Viviane Elbee
This book is full of fabulous watercolor illustrations, and the artwork deserves 5 stars.

The book itself appears to be three stories. There is the story of Leo, Molly, Mr. Stillwater (the panda) and Moss (the cat). Within this story is The Taste Of Banzo's Sword, a story that the panda tells about the value of hard work and patience. There is also a story about good guys versus bad guys (starring Leo and Mr. Stillwater) and finally a story about helping stranded starfish (starring all the main c
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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

Other books in the series

Zen (5 books)
  • Zen Shorts
  • Zen Ties
  • Zen Ghosts
  • Zen Happiness
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“A person in such a hurry seldom gets good results” 1 likes
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