by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, 2002) Ages 4 to 8 Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy, this is a must-read children's classic
. In a world flooded with social media and electronics, The Three Questions
communicates a strong message to children about the value of living in the moment. Nicolai is a small boy who wants to be a good person, but is unsure how to accomplish his goal. He has 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." Accompanied by a heron, a monkey, and a dog, Nicolai goes on a long journey to visit Leo, the wise old turtle. Leo doesn't answer directly, but by the end of his journey, Nicolai has discovered the answers for himself: "Remember 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." This is a beautifully written and illustrated book by a true master of children's literature.