Yesterday was not a good day for me. I was struggling with fears, worries, and frustrations, and I was therefore feeling pretty miffed with the world in general. Then I settled down to read and review Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin. For as long as I have been reading her books, I have loved the way Wendy pairs her illustrations with text that has substance. She makes her readers think about and consider what she is saying. Peace certainly did this for me. She reminded me that being angry with my lot in life serves no purpose. Instead I need to think things through quietly and refrain from sending my annoyed feelings out into the world. I need to set aside the small stuff and do my part to create peace.
Wendy Anderson Halperin
For ages 5 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2013, 978-0-689-82552-1
Sometimes, when we read or watch the news, we feel overwhelmed by the suffering that we see people experiencing all over the world. There is so much violence, and it exists on so many levels. People are robbed and hurt in their homes, and people die by the hundreds or thousands in wars and other conflicts. How can one person do anything about this terrible situation? How can a child promote peace when confronted by so much anger?
In this beautiful and powerful book Wendy Anderson Halperin explores the idea that every one of us can do things to make our world more peaceful. In the beginning of the book she tells us how we can use our five senses so that we can become better peace makers. For example, we can use our sense of touch to “help, to plant, to comfort, to reach out, and to create peace.” With our ears we can be good listeners, and with our words we can “heal, not hurt.”
She then goes on to show us using artwork, her words, and quotations, how peace can only come to our world if nations chose the path of peace. In turn nations can only embrace peace if cities are peaceful. Cities cannot be peaceful if neighborhoods are full of anger and violence, and if schools and homes are torn apart by cruel words and actions. Homes cannot find peace if there is no peace in our hearts.
Packed with words of wisdom from Desmond Tutu, Gandhi, Plato, Mark Twain and others, this is a book that will empower and uplift readers. It is a book to read and savor, and it is a book that will help readers to get through the hard times. Grownups reading this book to their children will realize that the book is for them as well. It serves as a valuable reminder that peacemaking begins with the individual.