Monday, February 18, 2013

Peace - a review


Despite what John Lennon urged, as adults, it's hard for us to imagine peace.  As a global community, we've never had it; we've never seen it.  It's more the stuff of imagination than possibility.  Heck, even the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) for Wendy Anderson Halperin's new book, Peace, is 172.42, translation - "political ethics." Pragmatic, yes - but lacking in idealism to be sure.

But talk to children (even teenagers) and many can envision peace - and they have ideas on how to achieve it.  That's one of the many things that make children so wonderful.  They haven't lost the ability to hope and dream and imagine the to-date unachievable.

Wendy Anderson Halperin's new book, Peace (Atheneum, 2013), seizes on that idealism, reflects it, and feeds it with new possibility.

Groupings of Halperin's delicate and peaceful, pencil and watercolor illustrations decorate each page in this circular story of peace which begins,
For there to be peace in the world ...
there must be peace in nations.
Accompanying each line is a collection of quotes from the likes of Walt Whitman, Dalai Lama, Kofi  A. Annon, and other lesser-known individuals.  The quotes serve as borders between the many illustrations on each page, each one, a story in itself.

The circular narrative leads inward, with the continuing theme of
For there to be ...
there must be ...
until the "heart" of the book is reached,
For there to be peace in homes,
there must be peace in our hearts.
Here the double-spread layout features the art of schoolchildren from Michigan, Ohio, and New York, and moving then outward, the refrain changes to
When there is ...
there will be ... .
Culminating in the elusive,
There will be peace in our nations.
And we will have peace in our world.

Peace is a beautiful and inspiring piece of work, or perhaps more aptly, a work of peace.

Much thought went into the design and concept for the book, as evidenced by its companion website, "Drawing Children Into PEACE."  The page with suggested Peace Projects has some great ideas.  As a matter of fact, I have an old chair that would make a fine "peace chair."  It may not turn out as well as the one below, but I'm inspired to give it a try.

See several pages of Peace at the author's website.

It's Nonfiction Monday.  This week's host is Wrapped in Foil.


  1. This would be a great book to share in classrooms! We spend a lot of time talking about being able to work with one another. Peace does indeed start with ourselves. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I'd love to read this book. The cover is perfect - I feel more peaceful just looking at it!

  3. Thanks for this review. Peace sounds like a wonderful book and i can 't wait to read it.

  4. This will be a terrific addition to the Doucette Library's collection. My favorite peace book is by V. Radunsky, What Does Peace Feel Like?. thanks for this recommendation.
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