Magazine article Montessori Life

Books for Peace: An Annotated Bibliography

Magazine article Montessori Life

Books for Peace: An Annotated Bibliography

Article excerpt

Books for children can be among the most beautiful creations by artists today: Colorful and inviting, they can range from simple to complex and often intend to teach or illustrate a concept. The subject matter is as broad as the collective imagination. One area of focus that is receiving needed attention in the world of books is education for peace.

Since its formation, the AMS Peace Committee has had education for peace as its mission. Essential aids in this process, after the direction of the prepared guide, are books that exemplify peaceful living.

Ruth van Veenendaal, a longtime member of the Peace Committee, has compiled an extensive list of peace books currently available. The list is divided by suggested age levels, with a short summary of each book's contents. It is a wealth of information for busy educators who want to promote peace through reading!

-Julie Winnette


All I See Is Part of Me

Curtis, C. M. (1994). Illumination Arts Publishing Company. Ages 4+.

A child discovers his connections with all of life.

And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be Friends!

Hoberman, M. A., and Hawkes, K. (2003). Dragonfly Books. Ages 3-7.

In rhyming verse that is a deliberate homage to Dr. Seuss, quarreling and its consequences are depicted. In the end, fighters become friends.

Can You Say Peace?

Katz, K. (2006). Henry Holt and Co. Ages 3-7.

A colorful trip around the world on International Peace Day (September 21), in which children from different countries say the word "peace" in their language.

Cool Down and Work through Anger

Meiners, C. J. (2010). Free Spirit Publishing. Ages 4-8.

Depicts behaviors/situations that give rise to frustration and/ or anger, with examples of what a child may physically experience (for example, "hot face, tense muscles, fast heartbeat, or loud breathing").

Each Breath a Smile

Swan, S. (words by Thich Nhat Hanh). (2002). Plum Blossom Books. Ages 3-6.

Through colorful illustrations, children learn to connect with their breathing to help them experience calm and enjoy a deeper relationship with friends and family.

Five Minutes' Peace

Murphy, J. (1999). Puffin Books. Ages 2-6.

A picture book in which the mother elephant wants 5 minutes of peace for her breakfast and bath, but her three active children have other intentions.

For Every Child, a Better World

Henson, J., Gikow, L., and Weiss, E. (1993). Golden Books. Ages 2-5.

Kermit the Frog shows children what basic needs are and how all children need these fulfilled in order to be happy and peaceful; he then talks about how some children are not able to have them fulfilled.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

ChiefJake Swamp. (1997). Lee & Low Books. Ages 4+.

A child's version of the Thanksgiving address originated by the Native People of Upstate New York and still used in ceremonies by the Iroquois people.

Hands Are Not for Hitting

Agassi, M. (2009). Free Spirit Publishing. Ages 4-7.

Children learn that violence is never acceptable.

I Offer You Peace

Wolf, A. D. (2001). Parent Child Press. Ages 5-8.

"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship...." This book nurtures the human spirit and is a recitation about peace, with hand gestures for children.

If Peace Is

Baskwill, J. (2003). Mondo Publishers. Ages 4+.

Illustrations and rhyming text describe what peace is.

Let There Be Peace on Earth (hook and CD)

Jackson, J., and Miller, S. (1955, 1983). Tricycle Press. All ages.

Song lyrics brought to life with compelling pictures. The music and lyrics are in the back of the book, along with a page explaining peace symbols.

A Little Book of Peace

Fernando, C. (2013). Publicity Services. Ages 2+.

Written after 9/11, this book demonstrates that there can be peace in the world. …

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