Comic Review: Zen Pencils

Zen Pencils--Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than
Zen Pencils–Inspirational Quotes for Kids 
by Gavin Aung Than

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book is a collection of quotes from famous people about doing your best, being yourself, striving for greatness, never giving up, and keeping positive no matter the obstacles. Each quote is illustrated with a short comic that tells a little story which portrays the concept of the quote.

I really enjoyed reading this book! The quotes are uplifting and there’s a lot of good wisdom in this book. The comics are beautifully drawn with vibrant colors, and some of the characters from the first comics reappear in other comics at the end, so there’s a sense of continuity and overall structure.
I was a little surprised that many of the comics are violent, depicting knights killing dragons, wrestlers taking down opponents in the ring, and even a Buddhist monk fighting a monster/demon. I thought that many of the quotes NEEDED a certain amount of violence to mirror the “fight for the right” message of the quote, and I enjoyed seeing those evil dragons taken down. (When you’re quoting Winston Churchill, you probably need to show a fight of some kind. And that’s good!) But there were just a LOT of them.
Couldn’t some of the quotes about courage and tenacity have shown someone helping the elderly, feeding the homeless, tutoring a child, overcoming a bad habit, or taking a meal to a sick person? Courage encompasses many different things, not just battling dragons and demons.
The subject material for the comics felt a little one-sided, and all that violence is not very “zen”.

The quotes themselves are from wonderful role-models with lots of wisdom to give the world, and each one really makes you stop and think about how you can apply that knowledge to your life. I enjoyed it immensely!

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.

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