Heart to Heart: A Conversation on Love and Hope for Our Precious Planet

HarperOne. Jan. 2023. 144p. ISBN 9780063216983. $24.99. SELF-HELP
This work poignantly pairs the wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with illustrations by cartoonist McDonnell (Mutts). Part autobiography, part call to action, this book draws from some of the Dalai Lama’s previously published works to tell a story of compassion and love for our planet. Through an imagined discussion between His Holiness and a panda driven from his decimated home, the Dalai Lama uses Buddhist wisdom to illustrate the importance of humans’ interconnectedness to their environment and to others. He emphasizes that humans are the only beings that have actively harmed the planet—and also the only ones that can take action. Through meditations and simple observations, the Dalai Lama demonstrates how cultivating peace within can spread to others with a positive effect. McDonnell’s illustrations match the simple brevity of the book’s selections from the Dalai Lama’s work. Adults are its intended audience, but the message is simple enough and the illustrations are frequent enough that younger readers would likely enjoy as well.
VERDICT Readers will appreciate this pairing of the Dalai Lama’s wisdom with the talent of cartoonist McDonnell in their plea for peace for humans and our planet.
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