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The Three Questions Hardcover – Apr 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (April 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439199964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439199964
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 31.2 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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There once was a boy named Nikolai who sometimes felt uncertain about the right way to act. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 4 2003
Format: Hardcover
Nikolai, a young boy, seeks the answers to three of life's most difficult questions. Soft delightful watercolors enhance the setting throughout as we learn about Nikolas's questions. Since the text is very simple, the warm pictures add detail and help develop the setting and characters in the readers mind. Nikolai's animal friends, Sonya the heron, Gogol the monkey and Pushkin the dog answer his questions according to their respective animal behaviors. Nikolai is not quite satisfied with their responses so he turns to Leo, the wise old turtle, for answers. Leo is the only animal who is personified so completely that he seems human. While visiting Leo's house there is a big storm. The colors darken to show that the climax is coming. Nikolai rushes out to rescue a mother and baby panda. Afterwards, still unsure of the answers, Leo must explain to Nikolai that he has already demonstrated his knowledge of the answers by helping the injured pandas. The blue sky and light colors return as the answers are finally clarified in Nikolai's mind. This delightful book reminds us that we already know the answers to our deepest questions. We just need to look within ourselves to find them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on May 28 2002
Format: Hardcover
"There was once a boy named Nikolai who sometimes felt uncertain about the right way to act..." He wanted to be a good person, but was unsure how to accomplish his goal. Nikolai had three important questions...When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? "If only I could find the answers to my three questions... then I would always know what to do." So he decides to seek the counsel of Leo, the turtle. "He has lived a very long time. Surely he will know the answers I am looking for." But as he reaches Leo's home, high in the mountains, disaster strikes, and without even thinking Nikolai takes action, and in the process finds the answers he's been searching for..... Based on Leo Tolstoy's short story, Jon Muth has authored a reflective and inspired picture book retelling of The Three Questions. His simple and eloquent text, with its gentle message of compassion and living for each moment, is enhanced by lovely and evocative watercolor artwork in quiet and subdued tones. Together word and art answer Nikolai's questions in a captivating and engaging way..."Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world." With an Author's Note at the end to augment the story and introduce Tolstoy and his works, The Three Questions is a perfect fable for youngsters 5-9, and is sure to open interesting and thoughtful discussions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Olson on Dec 28 2003
Format: Hardcover
A zen riddle? A story by Tolstoy? A comics illustrator? You wouldn't think these three things would come together to form one of the most lovely pieces of children's literature I've seen recently - but they do. This is a book I purchased to read to my 3 year old, but I find it a comfort to myself, as well. Jon J. Muth's watercolour illustrations set a pensive mood for a weighty tale, told lightly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Thomas M. Krapu on Feb. 26 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book tells a story that helps children learn one of the most important lessons in life. Parents will benefit from reading this book as well. There is a parallel between this book and the work of the famous Arbinger Institute (arbinger.com), where adults can even learn more about living the principles provided from this excellent children's book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rosebud on Nov. 11 2003
Format: Hardcover
The five minutes it takes to read this little book just might be the best time investment in your life. I'm serious.
Nikolai is an adorable little boy who is seeking for (what else?) the meaning of life. He has three simple questions: 1) When is the best time to do things? 2) Who is the most important one? 3) What is the right thing to do?
The answers to these questions will astound you with their simplicity and grace.
The book is based on a Tolstoy story of the same name. It is simplified for small children, but perhaps it will be read most rewardingly by older children and adults. This adult certainly likes it. In fact, as it combines the aspects of illustration and storytelling, I would have to call this the best children's book I have ever read.
Highly recommended, for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 11 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful and very touching book with a special message of love, compassion and introspection. These themes could be deep for a child but they are conveyed with characters and images that captivate and draw in the reader, whether young and old. The story is very touching and nurturing and the themes are ones that a person is never to young to be introduced to. I collect children's books and count this one among one of my favorites.
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By M. Adams on Dec 1 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my daughter, who is 31. The art work is incredible, such a simple, but powerful story.. Why are we Here? a story Leo Tolstoy. This book is for all ages.. it just says it all.. beautifully done.
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