Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas
Written and illustrated by Naomi C. Rose
Publisher: Dancing Dakini Press
Pub date: 2004
My inspiration for writing Tibetan-themed children’s books began in 1994 when I first became a student of Lama Surya Das, a teacher of Tibetan culture and wisdom.
In Tibet, wisdom tales have been passed down for centuries through the oral tradition from teacher to student. One of Lama Surya Das’ teachers suggested that he write these tales in English so that they may be of benefit to students in the West. This resulted in a wonderful book of Tibetan tales for adults, called Snow Lion’s Turquoise Mane.
In an early conversation with Lama Surya Das, I told him I wanted to create children’s books. It was then that he passed the baton of the teaching tales to me. “Why don’t you turn some of the tales from my book into tales for children?” he asked. “Then the stories could be of benefit to children as well as adults.”
His suggestion fit perfectly with my personal motivation to bring stories of wisdom and peace to children around the world. I felt the Tibetan culture had a lot to offer children in our own culture, examples of how to live kind and peaceful lives.
I take a lot of time with each tale, allowing my understanding of its wisdom to grow. Then I take a lot of time finding the right way to convey that wisdom to children in non-Tibetan cultures. Also I’m always sure to get input from Tibetans. I’ve been very happy to hear from many Tibetans how well I’ve preserved the essence of the tales.
I love going to schools and libraries to share about Tibet. The children love it. So do the adults. We have fun experiencing Tibetan treasures, like prayer wheels, and doing Tibetan art projects. Parents and teachers can use my books to enhance a variety of subjects, including geography (Mt. Everest), animals (yaks), language (each story is written in Tibetan as well as English), exploring cultural and geographical differences.