Young Takeboki needs a job and the monks in the temple need a flower keeper - so Takeboki sets to work, sweeping up flowers and leaves and creating swirling miniature worlds of his own in the temple garden. As the years go by, others ask him: Don't you want a better job? But as the seasons shift, each as beautiful as the last, Takeboki knows the pleasures of nature and of humbly doing a job well. He is happy.
Luminous collage illustrations created from delicate Japanese papers by a Caldecott Honor artist bring to life this thought-provoking tale that, with its Zen Buddhist sensibility, has much to say about work, wisdom, and the joy of being true to oneself.
“Written in clear, minimalist language, accompanied by rich, organic illustrations . . . This is an original fable not to be missed.” –Starred, Kirkus Reviews “Meade’s beautiful collage illustrations of the earthly garden and glorious afterlife . . . will help kids get closer to the text’s religious and philosophical themes.” --Booklist “Nicely constructed for reading aloud, this quiet story has a satisfying progression.” —School Library Journal “Celebrates the rewards of meaningful work.”—The Horn Book “Meade’s richly textured, luminous collage illustrations are as simple and graceful als Gershator’s narrative . . . A job well done.” –Publishers Weekly "A sweetly philosophical readaloud."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books