Monday, September 19, 2011

International Day of Peace - September 21, 2011

Otherwise known as Peace Day, this is the day that the United Nations has set aside to encourage all nations and all people to work toward worldwide peace.

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."
So, in honor of today I’d like to suggest Peaceful pieces: poems and quilts about peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines (811 HiPe 2011 PIC BK) for your consideration.

This is one of those books that I think will be appreciated in many classrooms for a variety of purposes. This collection of poems explores various aspects of peace from the personal to the profound, between everyday people and people with public prominence.

Children will recognize themselves when reading the poem about two siblings who must stand nose-to-nose after their bickering drives their mother crazy. Predictably, tensions between the two disperse quickly as they try not to break out giggling. Or, as described in another poem, a busy, agitated brain is bombarded with chaotic, frenzied thoughts and ideas, fighting to calm itself, looking for peace.

The efforts of people such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela are celebrated here as well as people who I had not known about, like Samantha Smith and Mattie Stepanek. Short biographies are included at the back of the book to tell us of their labours making the world a better place.

The most notable aspect of this collection though is the illustrations. The author has illustrated each two page spread with stunning quilted panels. The vibrant colours and patterns, the stitching and the cloth-piecing are dazzling.

This is a gorgeous book, relevant to all of us. Teachers will use this for poetry units, art, science, and social studies as it ties into personal, political and natural worlds.

The suggested reading level is grade 1-5 but the theme will work for older students, as well.

Last year’s recommendation, What does peace feel like? by Vladimir Radunsky (303.66 RaW 2004 PIC BK) compliments Peaceful pieces perfectly.

Today is Nonfiction Monday, a roundup of blogs that review nonfiction children's literature. Stop by Tales from the Rushmore Kid to read up on this week's recommendation.


GatheringBooks said...

I didn't know about the International Day of Peace - what a beautiful way to use poetry to commemorate that. As I become older (and hopefully wiser), I begin to increasingly see how poets seem to possess this startling clarity of vision about humanity - recited and spoken in verse. Thank you for sharing this. Seems perfect as well for Poetry Friday!

Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks, Myra. I don't really consider myself a 'poetry' person but every once in a while a book pops up that I connect to very strongly. This was one of those.

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