These stories of the Buddha are for parents or teachers to use in telling these tales, they are not intended primarily for children to read but when they have received the dramatic impression through the telling, they will have an added interest in reading the book for themselves.
I have purposely avoided using illustrations to these stories. I want the children to make the mental picture suggested to them by the spoken word, and if they read the story afterwards, I do not wish to force them to abandon their own conception and adopt a general one, because this would mean eliminating one of the most potent educational factors in the telling of the story.
I have suggested their meaning in the index to enable parents and teachers to see the contents at a glance. I strongly urge that little or no explanation should be offered to the children.
These stories never raise a boisterous laugh : only a quiet smile of delighted appreciation ; and they leave a pleasant aroma behind them. To the child-mind the impossibilities are no impossibilities at all, they are merely delightful. And these quaint old-world stories will continue to appeal to children, young and old, as they have done, the world over, through the long centuries of the past.