Young children love hide-and-go-seek and its simple forerunner: watching as someone holds up a kerchief veil, asks "Where's Mommy?" (or whoever), and then pops out a moment later to chortles of glee. So the idea of "Where's Buddha?" is likely to appeal to the 1 - 3 year olds for whom it's designed.

The book takes liberties with the historical Buddha to suggest that buddha nature accompanies us at every turn. Some illustrations are literally uplifting: "Buddha is up high" (accompanied by a silhouette version of a small Buddha walking in a meadow beneath a mountain peak); "Buddha zooms fast" (with Buddha in a vintage airplane flying over a southwestern landscape). Most illustrations, though, bring Buddha down to earth: watching the snow, basking in the sun, walking in a warm summer monsoon.

Naturally, this narrative leads to "Buddha is everywhere you are," a concept that Ware makes accessible even to the very young by her radiant paintings, emphasis on children (as even Buddha himself is depicted to be), and considerate inclusion of an array of races and species. The stretch from the cosmic — a rocket for "Buddha is far" — back to the nearness of one's familiar surroundings brings a sense of the holy that's present in all beings, an important understanding that can never be taught too early.