Can we learn about peace without considering its terrible opposite? Here is a list of books for children on the subject, from the Institute for Humane Education.
Vladimir Radunsky (whose Manneken Pis is one of my all-time favorite books) reflects on children’s perceptions in this thoughtful, serious collection.
Yet here is what’s going on in the world. Do we really know any more what peace feels like? Is there a day when somewhere in the world, innocents are not being killed in wars waged in the name of borders, territory, religion, ideology, or just plain greed?
Children did not make this mess.
They don’t deserve to inherit it.
Five hundred percent. Five hundred? That’s right. That’s how much expressions of racism have gone up in Britain post-Brexit. Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian newspaper, calls for books to counter a disturbing trend.
I shudder to think about what that percentage could be, in another country headed for an electoral face-off.
And I think of The Story of Ferdinand, and Manneken Pis: The Simple Story of a Boy Who Peed on a War, and all the other books that have whispered, sung, laughed, cried about peace through many years and many childhoods. Now that the world seems headed in quite another direction, we may need such books more than ever.