Friday, April 8, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book Ninety-eight

It seems to me that there is a very little good news in the news these days. Everywhere you look, people are arguing or fighting, using words or weapons. To say the least, this is extremely depressing. Feeling that we could all do with a little boost in the peace and harmony department, I decided to review Peace Week for Miss Fox's Class. In this book at least, children find creative ways to avoid conflict and strife, and the tone of the book is a hopeful one. 

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Anne Kennedy
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Albert Whitman, 2009, 978-0-8075-6379-3
   For days, the children in Miss Fox’s class have been squabbling and bickering. Finally, Miss Fox announces that they are going to have “Peace Week” in the class. For one whole week there will be “no more squabbling.” Miss Fox invites the children to decide what else they will do during Peace Week, and in response, they come up with some wonderful ideas. Miss Fox is hopeful that there will be a better atmosphere in her classroom for at least a little while.
   For the rest of the week the children face the usual challenges that come along. They experience big sisters yelling, mean children teasing, little children fighting, old turtles scolding, arguments about chores, and other trials. They could respond to each annoyance by getting angry, but instead they remember that it is Peace Week, and they try to find a peaceful solution to every problem that comes along. How long will they be able to keep this up?
   The world is so full of conflicts, big and small, many of which make people unhappy. In this picture book, Eileen Spinelli shows young readers that they can make their own little world a happier place by finding peaceful ways to resolve conflicts that they encounter. They don’t have to respond to meanness with more meanness. They actually have a choice to take a different path.
   With sensitivity and humor, Eileen Spinelli gives young readers a story that has an important message to convey. 

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