“Prince Siddhartha and the Bully” by Dana Green

“Prince Siddhartha and the Bully” by Dana Green 1024 910 Reader Views Kids

Prince Siddhartha and the Bully

Dana Green
Instilling Goodness Books (2023)
ISBN: 978-1642170542
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (08/2023)

“Prince Siddhartha and the Bully” is a children’s story of the spiritual Buddha by author Dana Green. Green researched the real-life Prince Siddhartha, who lived over three thousand years ago in Nepal, along with over one hundred varying accounts of the Buddha’s younger years, and consulted the Sutra for further stories of his life.

Prince Siddhartha is loving and caring toward anyone and anything; unfortunately, his cousin Devadatta does not reciprocate these feelings toward the Prince or others. The Prince’s kindness earns him the respect of others without much effort, leaving Devadatta to work extra hard to try to gain it “his” way. Being jealous, Devadatta confuses Prince Siddhartha with his hurtful words and actions toward himself and an innocent swan. The ending shows the effects of the “seed” we sow in our hearts – whether filled with compassion or hatred.

“Prince Siddhartha and the Bully” by Dana Green is a timeless story with a message for readers of all ages, applicable for eternity. Shown to the reader is the path each decision brings – if you focus on the positives around you and are this way to others, the seed of compassion will grow into a helpful and caring individual; if the focus is on the negatives and what is not happening, jealousy and hatred will likely sprout into an unhappy and hurt individual. Spiritual or moral, the story will pass with either tone. The illustrations assist with the storytelling and are pleasing to the eye. At the end of the book, Green includes a meditation to practice allowing positivity into your heart, life, and mindset, along with forgiveness for those who have hurt you (i.e., a bully).

Note from Lydia (age 9): The story is about two princes – one is kind, and the other is jealous. I liked reading about the kind prince because he helped the mother swan; I didn’t like reading about the jealous prince because he wanted to kill it. The names in the story were kind of confusing to me, mostly because I haven’t heard them before. The ending felt strange to me until it was explained because I didn’t realize that the story was only a single part of Prince Siddhartha’s life and not his whole life. I would recommend this book to kids of all ages because it’s a good story about being nice to others, even when they aren’t nice to you. 

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