In Jon J. Muth's touching and beautifully illustrated adaptation of a story by the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai is a boy who "sometimes felt uncertain about the right way to act." He tells his friends that he wants to be good but he doesn't always know how. He believes he'll know what to do once he has answers to three questions: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important? What is the right thing to do? His best friends are a heron, a monkey, and a dog. They try to assist him in his quest, but their answers don't seem quite right.
Then Nikolai decides to visit Leo, the turtle who lives high in the mountains and has lived a long time. The boy finds him and helps him dig his garden. During a storm, Nikolai rescues a panda and then goes back out to find her baby. Both are saved, and he feels a great peace inside him. Leo reminds him that the best time is now, the most important is whoever you are with, and the right thing to do is what whoever is with you needs.
This graceful story has a deeply spiritual heft to it that touches the heart. Asking the right questions, living in the present moment, and acting on behalf of others brings inner peace.