Review: Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin


Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin

A simple poem is at the heart of this picture book about peace.  Each line of the poem forms the basis of a page of the book and is also accompanied by other quotes about peace that bring a wonderful depth to the entire read.  As one reads, it almost becomes a chant about peace, a reverberation of the power of peace, and when one finishes that peace lingers for a long time.  When I finished the book, I immediately wanted to do two things:  start all over again and also research some of the quotes and people I had never heard of before.  There are quotes from all of the big names like the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, Jr.  but wonderfully, there are also quotes from others whose messages are just as powerful.

Halperin’s illustrations are detailed and wonderful.  The images are bright and speak directly to the sorts of peace being discussed.  In those images and in the surrounding quotes, children will see ways that they can personally work for peace on small and large levels.  There is a delicacy to the illustrations that works so well with the subject matter.  They are inclusive, warm and joyful.

As I was reading, I noticed a quote from Peace Pilgrim, a woman I was lucky enough to meet when she was alive.  My family hosted her for a night and she spoke at a small park in rural Wisconsin on the shore of a lake.  It was that sort of person being included in this book that meant so very much to me.  I also think about others searching for the new people they have found in this book and discovering her. 

A lovely and powerful book about peace, this belongs in every library.  Appropriate for ages 7-10.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.