Wendy Anderson Halperin’s new picture book, Peace, brings to mind the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” – especially the song’s next line, “and let it begin with me.” That’s the message of this lovely and thoughtful new book – peace begins with us. “For there to be peace in the world,” Halperin writes, “there must be peace in nations.” She narrows it from there – to cities, and neighborhoods, and schools, and homes, and in our hearts. The beauty of this book is its intricate watercolor panels that tell individual stories. In the beginning of the book, Halperin introduces vignettes of people from all over the world in difficult situations. Half-way through the book, she re-visits these situations and shows peaceful resolution. For example, there is a small painting of an older man without a seat on a subway. A few pages later, the same scene appears, but it’s clear that a young boy has given the man his seat.
This is not a book to read to a group of children. Rather, it’s a book for one-on-one sharing and a gateway to talking about kindness and the impact of our individual actions.