In a week during which we celebrate two major religious holidays, Passover and Easter, and with Ramadan starting soon, I thought this is the perfect time to feature today’s Perfect Picture Book.
Written By: Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul
Illustrated By: Estelí Meza
Publisher/Date: NorthSouth Books/2021
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: peace, social action, wildlife preservation, rhyming
Peace is a hello, a smile, a hug.
An exploration of the steps even the youngest kids can take to foster peace.
Links to Resources:
- Check out the 10 Ways to Build Peace, a list of peacebuilding ideas for kids on the United States Institute of Peace website;
- Discover 40 icons of peace;
- Check out the Teacher’s Guide for more ideas and enjoy the Coloring Sheet.
Why I Like this Book:
Featuring an inclusive group of children, including differently-abled children, this rhyming concept book is a wonderful way to explore with young children the meaning of peace and to offer examples of how they can help promote it. From simple actions, like smiling and making the effort to pronounce a name correctly, to saying “I’m sorry,” Peace provides many examples of everyday actions even the youngest among us can take to promote peace.
As the Pauls note in the Authors’ Note and as is evident in the illustrations, peace building doesn’t just affect people. In times and areas of conflict, nature and animals suffer. Especially during Earth Month, with the celebration of Earth Day coming up soon, I find this message an important reminder that our actions, good and bad, affect not just other people but our entire world.
Meza’s soft palette and folk-art inspired illustrations feature animals with the children in every spread. The end papers include peace trees with the word “peace” featured in many different languages, and there’s a lovely fold-out double spread at the end.
Whether at home or in a classroom or library setting, I think children and their adults will enjoy reading and rereading Peace and sharing its hopeful message, that we can all help foster peace in our world.
A Note about Craft:
In rhyming couplets, the Pauls define an abstract concept, peace, in ways that provide concrete examples to even young children of how to promote peace. And nowhere in the text do they explicitly mention that actions that promote peace also help the natural world. Rather, they mention that in the Authors’ Note and leave space for the illustrator to include the many birds, fish, and other animals that benefit when humans live in peace.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!