BEA 2013: Spotlight on Children: Buddhist Principles

June 01, 2013

By Ann Byl, Publishers Weekly

Wisdom Publications has seen increased interest in books for children that teach Buddhist principles. The nonprofit publishing house, based in Somerville, Mass., has upped the number of books that meet that need, with its newest featured at BEA [BookExpo America].

No Ordinary Apple: A Story About Eating Mindfully (June) encourages children (and adults) to slow down and really savor what they’re eating. Written by musician and teacher Sara Marlowe and illustrated by Philip Pascuzzo, the book uses an apple to teach mindfulness. Marlow encourages a child to look closely at the color of the apple; feel its different parts; toss it in the air and listen to it land; smell it; and chew slowly to really taste it.

“The book is about slowing down,” says Lydia Anderson, Wisdom’s marketing and promotions manager. “It’s not about never eating sweets, but encouraging children to find ways to discover new things about food, to appreciate everything on their plate, to slow down and savor it.” Marlowe and Pascuzzo sign copies of the finished book, printed early for BEA but not available in stores until June 11, today at Table 3 in the Autographing Area. No Ordinary Apple will also be available at the Wisdom booth (1322B).

For the older crowd, Wisdom is passing out galleys for two new publications: How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow (Sept.) by Toni Bernhard, author of How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers (2010), as well as Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans (Oct.) by Barry Magid, author of Ordinary Mind: Exploring the Common Ground of Zen and Psychoanalysis (2005).

While the three books are very different, each touches on Buddhism in some way, which fulfills Wisdom’s mandate. “Our mission is to produce the best Buddhist books of all kinds,” says Anderson. “We’ve been attending BEA for years,” she adds. “BEA is a good way to meet with agents, new authors, people in the trade, and it is a great way for book buyers and sellers to learn about us and us to learn about them.”

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