Picture Books About Peace

In honor of September 11th, I wanted to offer a few suggestions on great picture books that teach about the amorphous subject of peace. Here are some of my favorites:

 

The Peace Book

The Peace Book

The Peace Book by Todd Parr

Child-friendly, appealing to all ages, like the rest of Todd Parr’s books, The Peace Book is an excellent conversation starter. From lofty goals (“Peace is everyone having a home”) to realizable goals (“Peace is offering a hug to a friend”), this book offers big steps and small steps to help everyone make this a better world.
 

 

26 Big Things Small Hands Do

26 Big Things Small Hands Do

26 Big Things Small Hands Do by Coleen Paratore

26 Big Things Small Hands Do links every letter of the alphabet with a good thing that can be done. As the book’s first page states: “Your hands are small, but they do BIG things that make this a wonderful world.” Some letters are better (F: “Small hands feed.” and H: “Small hands help.” are favorites of mine) but either way, every letter is a good way to start a conversation about all the wonderful things even small hands do!

 

 
When I Grow Up, I Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize

When I Grow Up, I Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize

When I Grow Up, I Will Win the Nobel Peace Prize by Isabel Pin  

This is a book all about intentions, which is fantastic for all those kids (and grownups) who have lofty goals but sometimes don’t quite get there. Luckily, everything is couched in “When I grow up…” like “When I grow up, I will love my neighbor” right beside a beautiful illustration of a boy not loving his neighbor. Intentions are important, and this is a fun book that can help in a discussion of changing behaviors, if that is possible.
 

I Will Make Miracles by Susie Morgenstern

I Will Make Miracles

I Will Make Miracles

This is another book about a small child with lofty ambitions. Against illustrations similar to those of Maurice Sendak, the child in this oversized book has a lot of answers to the question: “When you get older, what will you be?” In addition to thoughts of being “a plumber, or pilot. Or dance the ballet!” he says: “I’d make the world stop fighting! / I’d get it in writing! I’d shout it far and near. / And everyone would hear.” and “I’d lock the bad guys up in cages / And turn them into wise old sages.”

 

Fundamentally though, the only way that these books will be successful is when they are springboards to discussions. That’s the hard part.

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