How can you save a burning forest with just sprinkles of water? This timeless Buddhist tale may just have the answer!
In this ancient tale of one of the Buddha’s past lives, the Buddha is born as a little gray parrot who takes it upon herself to save her beloved forest home from a raging fire. Even though she can only sprinkle drops of water onto the blaze, her perseverance, courage, and compassion change everything, eventually saving the forest in an unexpected way.
Zen teacher and acclaimed storyteller Rafe Martin and award-winning illustrator Demi render this centuries-old classic into a beautiful and timeless tale that will inspire all of us to find our own bravery and to act selflessly for the benefit of all.
Rafe Martin is the author of over twenty award-winning books for adults, children, and young adults. He is also a lay Zen teacher in the Harada-Yasutani koan line and founding teacher of Endless Path Zendo, Rochester, NY. A personal disciple of Roshi Philip Kapleau (Three Pillars of Zen) and the editor of Roshi Kapleau’s final two books, he later trained with Robert Aitken Roshi, completing the Diamond Sangha koan curriculum and receiving inka (authorization to teach) from Danan Henry Roshi, a Kapleau lineage teacher and a Diamond Sangha (Aitken line) Dharma Master. Rafe’s books have been cited in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and USA Today. He is the recipient of the Empire State Award for his body of work as well as multiple ALA Notable Book Awards and Storytelling World Awards. He has spoken at such events and places as the Joseph Campbell Foundation Festival of Myth and Story, The American Museum of Natural History, The Freer Gallery/Smithsonian, the National Storytelling Festival and International Storytelling Institute, the American Library Association Annual Conference, The American Booksellers Annual Conference, many Zen and Dharma Centers around the country, and numerous literary and storytelling festivals. His writings have appeared in Buddhadharma, Tricycle, Lion’s Roar, The Sun, Zen Bow, Inquiring Mind, Parabola, and other journals of note.
Demi was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, into a family of renowned artists, with painting in her blood. She studied at The Instituto Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico; with Sister Corita at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, California; at the M.S. University in Baroda, India, while on a Fulbright scholarship; and at the China Institute for Arts in New York City. Demi is the award-winning author and illustrator of over three hundred bestselling children’s books, including picture-book biographies of spiritual leaders such as the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Muhammad, Guru Nanak, and Hiawatha. Her titles have sold over two million copies. Numerous folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush transmit the wonder and magic of China. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle East Book Award. Her titles have also been designated American Library Association Notable Children’s Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.
“Children will celebrate the brave little parrot’s victory and ask for this story again and again. It’s a wonderful choice for reading aloud.”
“Rafe Martin’s lyrical retelling brings to life an inspiring tale from ancient India that will speak to today’s readers. Today, as rain forests burn, this old tale of doing the one little thing you can takes on special meaning . . . An author’s note explains that jataka tales based on the past lives of the Buddha have been told and retold for 2500 years. This is an elegant continuation of that tradition."
– Publishers Weekly
"A fresh, relevant, moving take on an old wisdom tale."