Saturday, March 07, 2015

The Mountains of Tibet

 The Mountains of Tibet
I just finished a lovely class/workshop based upon this book. I still have a few copies left if you are interested in purchasing them in person, or you can find them for sale through my link  at
The Mountains of Tibet, written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

ISBN-13: 9781898000549
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Pages: 32


  • Outstanding Children's Books of 1987 (NYT)
  • Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1987 (NYT)
  • Notable 1987 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
  • 1988 Choices (Association of Booksellers for Children)
  • 1987 Choices: The Year's Best Books (Publishers Weekly)
  • 1987 Children's Books (NY Public Library)

Book Description:

In a tiny village, high in the mountains of Tibet, lives a woodcutter. All his life he has longed to travel to faraway places, to see the world. But he grows old without ever leaving the mountain. When he dies, he is suddenly offered the choice of either going to heaven, or living another life, in any form he wants, anywhere in the universe. Carefully he decides ... and finds himself in a place he never thought he would choose.

The Mountains of Tibet grew out of Mordecai Gerstein's reading of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. This earlier edition of The Mountains of Tibet features an introduction by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.


"In The Mountains of Tibet, Mordicai Gerstein shows how beautifully and imaginatively the Tibetan teachings can be presented to children. These teachings are relevant to all of us and perhaps there has never been a time when we have needed them more." - Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

"A perfect blend of story and picture. The impact of its peaceful message will reverberate long after the last page is read." - The Horn Book

"The Mountains of Tibet deserves a wide readership. It draws on all the potency of myth and symbol to invest a disarmingly simple tale (and highly original illustrations) with a depth of meaning that many more weighty tomes might envy." - Times Educational Supplement

"Gerstein's fluid text and swirling, imaginative paintings are filled with light and reassurance. This is a work that will have many lives." - Time Magazine

"This award-winning children's story offers a delightfully thought-provoking introduction to the concept that life and death are parts of one whole. It is beautifully and imaginatively told and the illustrations are exquisite." - Home and Country

"An enchanting and spiritually rich little tale, beautifully illustrated." - Yorkshire Post

"A timeless tale at ease with the rhythm of life and death, and perfect for the child who likes to ponder the imponderable ... This beautifully illustrated story is told with impressive economy, embracing as it does life, death, the universe, and everything. And there's a happy ending." - Guardian

From School Library Journal - Grade 2 Up. "This story of the death and reincarnation of a Tibetan woodcutter is a beautifully gentle look at one human being dealing with life's choices and possibilities. As a boy, he thought about other worlds that he would someday visit; as a man, he thought of other countries and people, yet ``he was always busy with his work and his wife and children.'' After his death, he is given the option of being part of ``the endless universe some call heaven'' or living another life, and he chooses another life. The choices which follow take him through all the galaxies, stars, planets, creatures, peoples, countries, and parents before arriving at the final twist in this journey back to where he had been almost. Thus, the story comes full circle. The quiet, rhythmic text is in perfect unity with the softly coloured but radiant watercolour and gouache illustrations, leaving readers with a sense of wholeness and resolution. The golden borders neatly tuck the story in and add to its feeling of satisfaction and quiet joy. The real world scenes are in neatly boxed frames while the worlds of possibilities are displayed in mandala-like circular drawings. The main character, pictured in his small personal mandala, shows a range of emotions and dance-like movement. The kites held by the children in three scenes connect the multiple worlds of the story, providing both a grounding in the world we know and a means to soar beyond it. Children will appreciate the well-told tale and the joyous satisfaction of being one's own self in a large and magical world." - Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers Univ, New Brunswick, N.J. (Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.)