Books by Laura Berkeley

THE SEEDS OF PEACE by Laura Berkeley
Released: Aug. 1, 1999

Less is more becomes the central theme of this preachy parable with biblical overtones from Berkeley, kaleidoscopically illustrated by Dexter (Caitl°n Matthews's The Blessing Seed, 1998). The author structures her didactic tale around an old hermit who lives at one end of the rainbow. At the other end resides a rich, young merchant with plenty of material wealth, who seeks elusive peace and happiness. After summoning the old hermit to teach him his secret to peace and happiness, he has difficulty understanding the hermit's simple ways. The old man keeps to himself, sleeps under a tree, and talks with the animals rather than partaking in all of the wonders of the merchant's mansion. The overriding "peace is within" message is heavyhanded throughout, but when the gray-bearded hermit imparts his final wisdom in a vaporous speech, children may be more perplexed than peaceful. Admirable batik-like illustrations glitter with all the colors of the rainbow, but without a strong story, they create more pattern and decorative mosaic than character and emotion. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >