PPBF – Peace and Me

Today’s Perfect Picture Book debuted one month ago, on 21 September, the International Day of Peace. I think this is a perfect day to review it as the 66th annual Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony takes place in New York City this afternoon.


Title: Peace and Me

Written By: Ali Winter

Illustrated By: Mickaël EL Fathi

Publisher/Date: LantanaPublishing/September 2018

Suitable for Ages: 7-11

Themes/Topics: peace; Nobel Laureates; #NF; biography


ALFRED NOBEL invented a substance that helped countries go to war, but he is best remembered for his amazing contribution to world peace. How did this happen?

Brief Synopsis: A collection of 12 short biographies of winners of the Nobel Peace Prize of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Links to Resources:

  • Complete the sentence “Peace is…” by writing or drawing what you think peace means;
  • View the book trailer;
  • Learn more about the Nobel Prizes and check out the teacher resources for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

Why I Like this Book:

Arranged chronologically, Peace and Me introduces children to 12 well-known and lesser-known winners of the Nobel Peace Prize from around the world. Linked together with tag lines that explore what “peace is” in the context of each winner, the one-page biographies highlight the impact the winners had on the world.

From such well-known figures as Bishop Desmond Tutu (1984 winner), whose peace includes “finding ways to forgive” and Jane Addams (1931 winner), whose peace includes “giving people the skills to thrive”, to lesser-known Fridtjof Nansen of Norway (1922 winner), whose peace is “making sure everyone has a home”, Peace and Me provides not only important biographies of peace builders but also explores the various aspects of peace their work represented.


Photograph of interior spread from Peace and Me

Filled with gorgeous, full-page, vibrant collaged illustrations, Peace and Me will be a valuable resource for classrooms, libraries and home. I particularly love how each biography shows what one person can do to help the world and support an aspect of peace, and how it also encourages readers to take action to promote peace in some way. I also like that Peace and Me begins with a brief biography of Alfred Nobel and his bequest to fund Prizes, thus providing context for the biographies. The addition of a timeline, world map, and endnote summarizing what peace is and asking “What does peace mean to you?” further the impact of this timely and beautiful book.


Photograph of interior spread from Peace and Me

A Note about Craft:

A compilation of 12 (really 13, including Nobel) short biographies could quickly become tedious and boring, too listy. How does Winter avoid that? I think by starting with a definition of peace, “Peace is…”, for each honoree, and then relating that definition to a particular individual, Winter draws the reader into the narrative and provides a framework for examining each person and the concept of peace.

For younger children and more visually-minded readers, EL Fathi has hidden a young girl in every illustration.

From the book jacket, Ali Winter is “an experienced anthologist and non-fiction writer from the United Kingdom”. View more of French-Moroccan illustrator EL Fathi’s work on his website.

UK-based Lantana Publishing “is a young, independent publishing house producing inclusive picture books for children.” Lantana’s books are distributed in the US and Canada by Lerner Publisher Services.

Amnesty International has endorsed Peace and Me. Read a review at The Book Activist.

This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!


24 responses to “PPBF – Peace and Me

  1. Patricia…oh yes…this book is a treasure…the illustrations look amazing and I love the idea of young kids getting to know about the Nobel Peace prize and some of its recipients. Great PPBF pick!!!

  2. What a treasure for older elementary kids. Inspiring stories of those who have made a difference in the world with beautiful illustrations! Great choice!

  3. After reading your review, I not only want to check out this remarkable book, but I want to add it to my collection on my overflowing bookshelf. The illustrations are outstanding!

  4. Wow! That opening about Alfred Nobel really drew me in. This sounds like a wonderful book to inspire kids (and adults), and I’m intrigued by how Ali Winter framed each bio with a definition of peace for that particular honoree. Great choice!

  5. Such a gorgeous book. I’m really drawn to those rich colours.
    I think it would be fairly easy to adapt this to younger children. It looks like you could focus on the “Peace is …” sections and then talk about the illustrations. Awesome pick!

  6. A perfect book for our time! It’s really beautiful. I did not know Nobel’s history, so I just looked it up. Wow! No wonder peace is the emphasis for these prizes. How else could one live with one’s other legacy? And I love the selection of winners and how they’re presented. A wonderful book all around. The SFPL doesn’t have this title, although several libraries on Link+ in our area have it. But I think I’ll suggest this title to the SFPL. It should be on their shelves!

  7. What a terrific collection and focus for a picture book. And thank you for introducing me to a new press.

  8. What a beautiful book! I love Mother Tereasa’s page and the tag lines. I look forward to reading the entire book. Thank you for introducing me to this book.

  9. Wow! there have been some amazing new books out lately and this is certainly one of them. Gorgeous full page illustrations. Kids will love this and it will certainly be a great resource in the classroom.

  10. This looks like an amazing and important book! I haven’t read it yet, so thanks for reminding me it’s out.

  11. Katrina Gutierrez

    What a fantastic review. Thank you for sharing our book, Patricia!

  12. Pingback: Perfect Pairing – Peace | Wander, Ponder, Write

  13. Pingback: Perfect Pairing – Of Ideals that Matter | Wander, Ponder, Write

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