Welcome to Peace-ology. We are two children’s authors teaming up to review children’s books with peace in mind.
Caren: After all our interviews for our book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, I asked the book’s inspiration, peace educator Sachiko Yasui, if she had any last words she would like to share with children.
Sachiko’s response was to think about this:
What is peace?
What kind of person should I be?
Keep pursuing answers to these questions.
I haven’t stopped thinking about Sachiko’s questions. When I met Ellie, we discovered we ask the same questions when looking for books for kids.
Ellie: I read to my three- and five-year-old children every single day. They memorize lines from books and book characters are the basis for our imaginative play. I also teach peace literacy to teenagers. I am fascinated as a parent and teacher which books spark curiosity in kids and broaden their universe. Which books lead to true exploration around power and reconciliation? Which beautifully show humanities unfolding with a bend toward justice? I am actively on the look-ut for books that inform our imaginations about what kind of healed world is possible.
Caren and Ellie: In our upcoming Peace-ology series, we’ll be on the look-out for peace books we can recommend to you. What is the language of peace? Which stories capture peace in ways that inspire inquiry? How can children’s books help adults and children explore the multi-layers of peace together… because Mahatma Gandhi said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world … we shall have to begin with the children.”
Here is the first book we’d like to share to ring in the New Year: Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013.
Weaving the words from the Tao Te Ching, “For there to be peace in the world …” as well as other quotes from world’s peacemakers, children explore a peace journey through Wendy’s exquisitely detailed drawings, inspired by elementary children. Snuggle up and together wend your way from peace in the world to peace in your heart.
What can you do in 2020 to cultivate peace in your body, your family, and your world? Maybe it’s designing a quilt of peace inspired by Wendy’s book, or listening deeply to personal stories of a friend, family member, or a staff member in your school. Or maybe it’s slowing down, adjusting negative self-talk, and helping our children appraise the positive. Our world needs more peace, and it can start with each of us.
Do you have children’s books or ideas with peace themes you’d like to share? Please do.
As we can, we would like to incorporate your recommendations into upcoming articles, and of course, acknowledge you. Let’s make Peace-ology interactive. Write to either of us and describe your suggestion, including your name, contact, and professional or organizational. www.ellieroscher or www.carenstelson.com
Happy New Year to all. We look forward to being on this peace journey together.