This is the sixth book in a series for young children that will introduce them to other cultures through pictures and language.
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I See the Sun in Myanmar (Burma), the sixth book in the award-winning I See the Sun in. . . . series, takes place in a small town on the Irawaddy River in Myanmar, the country formally known as Burma. Lush illustrations and a bilingual story in English and Burmese offer Aye Aye’s view of her beautiful country that until recently has been something of a mystery to most of the rest of the world.
Aye Aye’s father is a fisherman on the river and her mother is a nurse in a nearby hospital. The story also provides an elementary introduction to Buddhist culture and the tradition of metta, a practice of saying phrases of loving-kindness. The day unfolds with the verses of metta that Aye Aye whispers to herself. Her wishes of kindness and compassion to those around her mirror the deep-rooted Buddhist culture present in Myanmar.
“I See the Sun in Myanmar (Burma) is a delightful introduction to an ancient Buddhist culture. Heartwarming in its simplicity,” said Joseph Goldstein, author and co-founder of Insight Meditation Society.
I See the Sun in Myanmar (Burma) was first written in English, then translated into Burmese by PawSHtoo B. Jindakajornsri, who works at the Translation Center at the University of Massachusetts. The book is richly illustrated with collages made from original photographs and colorful drawings. It also includes an overview of the Myanmar, a glossary of unfamiliar words, and a map that highlights where Myanmar is on the globe.
"The concept of metta, regardless of religious affiliations or backgrounds," said Terry Hong of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, "is an idea we can all heed. Just as Aye Aye repeats the words throughout her day, we might learn to do the same. No harm, only hope – and loving-kindness, too..."
May we be safe.
About the author: Dedie King was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal in the mid sixties. She taught school in Katmandu and in Bandipur. She returns periodically to visit friends in Bandipur. Presently Dedie practices Taoist acupuncture in Massachusetts.
About the illustrator: Judith Inglese, the illustrator, has been designing and fabricating ceramic tile murals for public environments for more than thirty years. Her commissions include libraries, schools, hospitals and municipal and institutional buildings like the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Her murals often focus on the play and imagination of children as well as cross-cultural exchange and community. Illustrating the "I See the Sun" series has given her another medium for examining these themes and celebrating children around the world. It is her first collaboration and publication.