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HI, KOO! Illustration © Jon J. Muth

HI, KOO! Illustration © Jon J. Muth

Recently, I was shown this page from Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press). The image and haiku are very sweet, and true. I remember that feeling when I killed bugs, accidentally mainly, as a kid.  Those very same feelings led my daughter Hannah Hoose and I to write our picture book, Hey, Little Ant.

It also reminds me of what Richard Gere said when asked how to raise a Buddha baby.

“‘Teach them to respect insects.’  That is what the the Dalai Lama said. If they can learn to love something that to them is innately ugly and small, learn that an insect has the same life forece as they, that’s the beginning. And basically, you have to watch yourself. If you want your child to be special, you have to be special: generous, kind, loving, forgiving.” —Richard Gere

Jon J. Muth’s character Koo embodies the Dalai Lama’s message.  May young readers listen.  —Phillip Hoose

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