Happy #PeaceDay! How will you celebrate? I can’t think of a better way than learning about folks from throughout the world who have promoted peace. And how can we do that? By reading about them, of course! Starting with today’s Perfect Picture Book:
Title: People of Peace: 40 Inspiring Icons
Written By: Sandrine Mirza
Illustrated By: Le Duo
Publisher/Date: Wide Eyed Editions, an imprint of The Quarto Group/2018 (first published in French, Gallimard Jeunesse, France/2017)
Suitable for Ages: 7-10
Themes/Topics: Peace; non-fiction; biography
These women and men, enlightened thinkers, engaged citizens and revolutionary leaders, have all forcefully denounced the atrocity and absurdity of war, and fought against slavery, racial oppression and social injustice. They have spoken out against the violation of human rights everywhere with their rallying cry for non-violence.
Brief Synopsis: A collection of 40 people of peace, with information about each person’s identity, action, and context.
Links to Resources:
- Learn more about the UN International Day of Peace;
- Check out some of the suggested activities, including some ideas for children and students, participating in a one-minute silence for peace at noon in your local time-zone, creating and sharing a Peace Crane, and hosting a Feast for Peace;
- This year’s #peaceday celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The Right to Peace- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” Learn more here;
- Did you know we have a US Institute of Peace that is “America’s nonpartisan institute to promote national security and global stability by reducing violent conflicts abroad”? Check out their student resources and ideas to promote peace;
- Take the #PeaceDayChallenge;
- Follow the format of People of Peace and present information about someone you think is a Person of Peace.
Why I Like this Book:
People of Peace includes snapshots of well-known, and less well-known, people (“icons”) who promote or promoted peace in their lifetimes. I love the international focus of the book, with people from almost every continent represented, and I love that they represent different pathways to peace. For instance, are you a sports fan? See how Muhammad Ali championed civil rights in the US and was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. A music lover? Learn about folk singer Joan Baez, rock legend John Lennon, and pianist/composer Daniel Barenboim, who co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, comprised of members from Palestine, Israel and other Middle Eastern nations.
Because of the diverse assortment of peace builders highlighted, I think People of Peace is a wonderful addition to school libraries and classrooms. Told in a series of text boxes for each person, I think this format will appeal to older elementary and middle school students, and it could act as a template for a project highlighting other People of Peace.
Computer-generated “iconic” illustrations complete the snapshots of these peace builders.
Rosa Luxemburg, reprinted from People of Peace
A Note about Craft:
As noted above, People of Peace uses a unique format to present a variety of peace builders. Given its vast breadth, both historically and geographically (not to mention gender, race, ethnicity, and professional), this could have been a muddled mess. Instead, the uniform formatting makes it easy to navigate, learn more, and compare these peace builders. Sadly, although there is a timeline in the back, there is no bibliography. Hopefully, an e-version with click-through bibliographies will be forthcoming.
Per the publisher’s website, Mirza “holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Paris and is a graduate of the Institut Français de Presse. After six years of working at a publisher, she is now a full-time author, specialising in history. Sandrine lives in Paris.”
Also from the publisher’s website, “Le Duo is an illustration partnership between Alberic and Leopoldine, who trained at the Esag-Penninghen (Paris) and the Chelsesa College of Art and Design (London). They specialise in advertising (clients include Monoprix, Thalys and Nestlé) and editorial illustrations, having being featured in The Good Life, Men’s Health and Le Monde. Le Duo are based in Paris.”
“The leading global illustrated non-fiction book publishers”, the Quarto Group “makes and sells great books that entertain, educate and enrich the lives of adults and children around the world.”
Check out more multicultural kids’ books about peace at Colours of Us.
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!