Tag Archives: peace


Wishing you happy Holidays. I hope that, if you receive gifts this time of year, it will be lots of wonderful books. Here are some global stories about hope, love and peace that we can use around the world.

A Kwanzaa Miracle by Sharon Shayers Gayle with art by Frank Norfleet is a heartwarming story about the neighbors in an apartment building getting together to celebrate Kwanzaa, a relatively new, secular celebration based on African harvest traditions. Ashley and Darryl are scared of mean Mrs. Jackson who always scolds them. Until they discover that Mrs. Jackson lost her daughter and is all alone. Through visits, they come to enjoy their neighbor and even honor her as special ancestor during the Kwanzaa celebration. The back of the book explains the seven principles of Kwanzaa. ISBN 0-439-69003-X, Scholastic

Sélavi, A Haitian Story of Hope by Youme is a wonderful, unique story. Inspired by real children in Haiti, it features a homeless child who tries to find a safe place to live. Soon, he meets other children who help and support him until they all get chased away. He finds a group who tries to give him shelter. When the community works together, they accomplish their goal of building a safe place to live and also a radio station to broadcast and share their stories, their hopes and dream. The radio station is real and so are the characters in this touching picture book. ISBN 0-938317-84-9, Cinco Puntos Press

A wonderful new title by Peter H. Reynolds and his son Henry Rocket Reynolds is All We Need Is Love. This story sneaks into your heart while you are reading it… Poppy and Little One agree, all they need is love. And a soft pillow. Oh, and a roof over their heads. Slowly, their wish list grows until they accumulate more and more and have a house full of things. Then the big storm blows it all away and they discover that, yes, love is really all they need. And a soft pillow! This is a great story for a wide age range that can be accompanied by discussions on how much stuff we really need and what is essential. ISBN 978-1-338-57233-5, Scholastic

Because I Already Loved You by Andrée-Anne Cyr, with art by Bérengère Delaporte is a lovely but sad picture book that can fill a much needed void. The still-born birth or death of a new baby is acknowledged as a very sad event for the parents but not often addressed properly for the young sibling who has eagerly awaited the birth. This story is beautiful and realistic and a good tool to use for families faced with the tragic loss of a new baby. ISBN 978-1-77306-973-9, Groundwood Books

What Is Peace? by Wallace Edwards asks a question that you can expand in the classroom. Is Peace old or new? Is Peace near or far? Is it quiet or loud, captive or free? So many ways to think about what exactly peace is. Coupled with exquisite art full of things to discover, this picture book is rich in both text and illustrations and can be used as a discussion point for students of all ages.

ISBN 978-1443148436, North Winds Press

Margriet Ruurs is a Canadian author of over 40 books for children. Her next in person author presentations will be at international schools in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


From Far Away…

Or perhaps from not so far away… These books showcase stories from a variety of cultures and countries that all show how similar we really are. Whether you need courage in Pakistan or a friend in Afghanistan, we all share similar feelings and needs. Through books, we can learn from each other.

Ang Mahiyaing Manok by Rebecca T. Anonuevo and Ruben de Jesus, is a lovely illustrated picture book told in two languages: Filipino (Tagalog) and English.

Onyok is a young rooster who just can’t crow like the others. They are experienced and know just what to do. The old roosters crow day and night. But no matter how hard Onyok tried, he can’t do it and gives up, feeling quite worthless.

His mother and the old roosters support him. They show him just what to do and encourage him to keep trying. And when Onyok finally manages his crow, he vouches to help other young roosters when he grows older. ISBN 971-508-074-X, Adarna House

Crescent Moon Friends

Crescent Moon Friends by Wadia Samadi, Mo Duffy Cobb and art by Lisa Lypowy is a gentle story about Aisha who has to leave her home in Afghanistan, and Amelia who likes to look at the moon. When Aisha joins her class, Amelia becomes her friend. They discover how much they share in values and interests. The girls as well as their families learn much from each other and are enriched by their new friendships. ISBN 978-177-3660967, Acorn Press

Silent Music, A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford is a skillfully produced picture book for all ages. Ali lives in Baghdad. He loves playing soccer on the dusty streets. But most of all he loves practising calligraphy, just like the legendary calligrapher Yakut. When bombs fall on Ali’s city he, too, fills his mind with peace by practising the flowing words. A beautiful story of peace amid a city in turmoil. ISBN 978-1-59643-276-5, Roaring Brook Press

YouTube Read Aloud:

Malala Speaks Out is the acceptance speech given by Malala Yousafzai upon receiving the Nobel Peace Price. This book should be read by any student and educator. “Instead of painting our hands with hanna flowers,” Malala says, “my friends and I used to paint them with mathematical equations.” When ‘education went from being a right to being a crime’, Malala decided to speak out. Her strong voice recounts situations for more than 60 million girls across the world. This powerful speech can inspire many and help them to realize the importance of education. Commentary in the back of the book, by Clara Fons Duocastella help to put events into context. ISBN 978-1- 77306-916-6, Groundwood Books

Margriet Ruurs is a Canadian author of many multi-cultural books for children. She is currently taking bookings at International Schools for the 2023-24 school year.