Peace Bibliography by Kay Ellison
Books can be powerful! A book with a message can say so much more than a “talking head.” As a teacher/librarian I know people respond to story. Here are 12 picture books that have powerful stories of peace. So many books, so little time! These photos and reviews are taken from www.goodreads.com and the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award website.
These books are heartwarming and compelling. Appropriate for Kindergarteners to Grandparents!
Title: Wangari’s Trees of Peace
Author: Jeanette Winter
Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Synopsis: Wangari lives near Mt. Kenya in Africa. Wangari is an excellent student and is gifted
with a scholarship to study in America. Upon her return, she is devastated to see a barren land
with no crops or birds. Wangari’s goal is to plant seedlings row upon row in open spaces bringing
back the beauty of her beloved country.
Title: Ron’s Big Mission
Author: Rose Blue
Illustrator: Corinne Naden
Publisher: Dutton, 2009
Synopsis: The story of how nine-year-old Ron McNair, later a real-life
scientist and Challenger astronaut, desegregated his Lake City, South
Carolina, public library in the 1950s through peaceful resistance.
Title: My Name is Sangoel
Author: Karen Lynn Williams & Khadra Mohammed
Illustrator: Catherine Stock
Publisher: Eerdman’s Books, 2009
Synopsis: As a refugee from Sudan to the United States, Sangoel is
frustrated that no one can pronounce his name correctly until he finds a
clever way to solve the problem.
Title: The Sandwich Swap
Author: Queen Rania Al Abullah
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Publisher: Hyperion, 2010
Synopsis: Best friends Lily and Salma disagree over their preferred foods, but after trading sandwiches to see how they taste, the girls change their minds, and bring a new community awareness at their school.
by Candace Fleming, Stacey Dressen McQueen (Illustrator), Stacey Dressen-McQueen (Illustrations) After World War II there is little left in Katje’s town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom “thick and bright,” Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down to Katje’s home with a box from an American girl.
It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipes for turning your best enemy into your best friend.
Title: Story of Ruby Bridges
Robert Coles George Ford (Illustrator)
“Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans in 1960. Coles tells the brief story of her daily walk past . . . white adults, her time alone with her teacher in an otherwise empty classroom because white parents kept their children home, and the . . . moment when she prays in front of the . . . crowd for God to forgivethem. An afterword explains that later in the school year, parents slowly began to send their children back to school and eventually the crowd dispersed. . . . Grades one to three.” (SLJ)
This is the moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a major league baseball team and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, PeeWee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate.
The kids of Liberty Street join forces to help the Araboolies when mean General Pinch orders them to move because they look different.
Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal ever! He knows how to do everything, from jumping rope to leading nature walks. Everyone loves him . . . except for Eugene Esterhause. “Mean Gene” hates everyone who’s different. He’s a bully, a bad student, and he calls people awful, racist names. But Mr. Lincoln knows that Eugene isn’t really bad-he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home. Can the principal find a way to get through to “Mean Gene” and show him that the differences between people are what make them special?
by Jeanette Winter
Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library–along with the thirty thousand books within it–will be destroyed forever.
by Dr. Seuss
“Dr. Seuss chronicles the feud between the Yooks and the Zooks from slingshots through sophisticated weaponry, until each side has the capacity to destroy the world. The language amuses, the drawings are zesty and humorous, and the demand for this book will be large.”–School Library Journal.
Walking to school can be hard if you live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s downright dangerous if you’re a Catholic, like Allison, and the shortest route to your school goes through a Protestant neighborhood. But sometimes a ray of kindness cuts through the violence. That’s what happens when a demonstrator rips a brass button off Allison’s new school blazer, and a Protestant girl not only retrieves the button but returns it to Allison.