Cover image for The Prince who ran away : the story of Guatama Buddha
The Prince who ran away : the story of Guatama Buddha
Rockwell, Anne F.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 1.0 56742.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Biography
Boston Free Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
East Aurora Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library BQ892 .R63 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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On a night more than two thousand years ago, a prince was born in India. He could have been the most powerful rajah in all the world. But instead, the prince chose to become a common beggar, seeking a way to end the suffering he saw around him. He knew riches could not end suffering. He learned that deprivation could not end suffering. Then, under an enormous spreading fig tree, deep in concentration, he found Enlightenment. He understood Dharma, the law governing all things. He had achieved Nirvana, the peace that triumphs over suffering. And he found this knowledge and understanding inside his own mind, nowhere else. He became the Buddha, and taught his way of ending suffering to all who wished to learn.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6, younger for reading aloud. This picture book biography for older children gracefully weaves some of Buddhism's basic concepts into selected stories of Buddha's life. In an appended note, Rockwell states that she tried to choose biographical scenes that would translate to a young audience, and she succeeds quite well. Her text is clear, nicely paced, and vividly written. The concepts (nirvana, dharma, enlightenment) are so enormous, however, that even with Rockwell's simply phrased explanations, children will probably still need to share this with an adult. Amiri's vibrant, tropically colored paintings, however, offer tangible, action-filled images that will help kids imagine the abstract (evil appears as candy-colored, mustachioed demons) and focus on the story. Compare this with Demi's Buddha (1997), which features more elegant, less literal illustrations. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Amiri's (Babri) traditionally drafted, brilliantly colored Persian miniatures illuminate this retelling of the life of Buddha in every sense of the word. Paintings framed with pools of lotus blossoms and banks of swirling clouds follow the young man born to a rajah and his queen, as he leaves behind a life of wealth and searches for enlightenment. Showing several events in a single panel, Amiri paints the prince leaving his horse and servant, donning yellow robes, and cutting his hair. Later, as he sits under the famous great Bo Tree, he defeats a multicolored army of wild-eyed demons who tempt his resolve, and begins to preach and attract followers. Rockwell's (Only Passing Through) accomplished prose ("His hair was black and shining as the night, and his skin was burnished dark gold like the morning sun") blends factual information with fanciful miracle tales. This multilayered picture book can be read on many levels, as a classic quest by younger readers or as a spiritual text that will spark discussion and reflection for more sophisticated readers. Amiri's paintings serve, like mandalas, as a source of much of its complexity and depth. Ages 7-10. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Combining aspects of folklore and biography, Rockwell creates a life of the Buddha. By using traditional elements and eschewing more contemporary historically based investigations, she establishes a smoothly flowing narrative that avoids unanswered questions and the need for a more complete backgrounding in the Hinduism out of which the Buddha came or daily life in ancient India. Because Buddhism is by definition a critical response to Hinduism, there are occasional moments in the book to which Hindus might take exception, but Rockwell does not aim to critique or denigrate Buddhism's parent but rather to present Buddhism as the Buddha might have seen it. Students interested in religion and those prone to ponder why things are as they are will find this an interesting and enlightening introduction to one of the world's chief religions. Amiri's illustrations are bright, expressive, and well keyed to the facing text.-Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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