In this slim book, author Volark Keo shares his thoughts on the mundane experiences of his life, taking from them “hidden treasures”—spiritual lessons to live by.
Keo’s illustrated offering traverses a range of topics taken from everyday life in which the author finds the significant, the profound, and the infinite. For example, as he tucks in the “hardest” corner of a bed sheet, he ponders “the things that I find easy to straighten up and the hardest things that I’m still working on.” When struggling to fix a tie, he sees the opportunity to choose to “make it (things in life) right.” Observing a woodpecker building his home in a tree, he finds inspiration to persevere. He also compares sweeping his floors every day to praying daily: “sweeping away the dust, dirt, and things that are harmful” in life.
Keo is to be commended for living life in the moment, seeing spiritual implications in everyday occurrences, and using his simple (sometimes rather raw) drawings to help explain his messages. Unfortunately, writing issues hamper the book’s effectiveness.
Grammatical issues, including improper word choice, abound (“That’s” for “That Have” in the title; “it’s” for “its”; “has” for “have”; and more). Readers encounter puzzling sentences (“As I was walking outside of Taxi’s door, Taxi is a friend of mine”; “The life of a gangster has no strength, but this causes him to slack.”) Several stories are hard to follow. In one, he talks about a thought inspired by two blind men walking past him in Chinatown: “Walking by two blind men for they see, I am blind for I see, I see the things of this world. Jewelry. Women. Lusting. Envying.”)
The intended audience is also unclear: While the picture book format and simple language are appropriate for children, most of his analogies have spiritual implications for more mature readers.
Ultimately, this book requires more polish and greater thought about its target audience to find widespread appeal.
Also available as an ebook.