Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Peace Book

Title: The Peace Book
Author: Todd Parr

The Peace Book is a beautifully illustrated picture book that conveys powerful messages behind simple words to define peace in different contexts. Peace messages that convey equity: “Peace is having enough pizza in the world for everyone”. Peace messages
that touch upon multiculturalism: “Peace is learning another language”. Peace messages that
deal with homelessness: “Peace is everyone having a home”. Peace messages of friendship: “Peace is making new friends”. Peace messages of tolerance: “Peace is saying sorry when you hurt someone” and so many more.

The vivid cartoon-like pictures of this book most definitely grabbed my attention right away. I was even more drawn to this book after I read the author’s note inside the first page of the book. He wrote that “he remembers being excited in grade school every year when he got his orange UNICEF box and went door to door collecting money. He always felt good that he was making a difference. Growing up, he never fully understood how big the world was or the impact one person can have on someone a world away. Now, he understands it better and hopes that donating part of the proceeds from this book will help UNICEF spread its message of peace to the world”. I think that Todd Parr has succeeded in making a difference to those who read this book. He has taken a challenging and complex topic such as “peace” and made it more tangible for children all around and adults like myself!

How would I use the book/curriculum units:
This book is great because it can be used as a jumping start for many social justice issues such as homelessness, friendships, tolerance, multiculturalism, equity, being different, caring for the environment and much more which all fall under the big “peace” umbrella . Todd Parr also has many other books that may be helpful when teaching about any of the above topics. The following link lists information about his other very popular books: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=todd+parr

Domains of Social Justice:

1) Self-love and acceptance: “Peace is being who you are”.
2) Respect for others: “Peace is helping your neighbor”, “Peace is keeping the water blue for all the fish”, “Peace is saying you are sorry when you hurt someone”.
3) Exploring issues of social justice: “Peace is listening to different kinds of music”, “Peace is learning another language”, “Peace is traveling to different places”.
4) Social movements and social change: “Peace is giving shoes to someone who needs them”, “Peace is sharing a meal”.
5) Taking social action: “Peace is being different, feeling good about yourself and helping others. The world is a better place because of you!”

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