Children reveal how they find peace in everyday moments in this picture book by Penshorn (The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace, 2017) and debut illustrator Keith.
This poetic work emphasizes images over words, opening with attractive, painterly full-color illustrations. Several early pages feature cartoon-style pictures of a child or children, their features rendered with soft edges, as they experience a sense of peace, and these images are accompanied by simple, evocative sentences. One girl faces the ocean, which features dolphins; two friends in an urban setting sit on a sidewalk, bird-watching. Other kids similarly find peace in nature—a sunny, flower-covered meadow; the night sky; a farm in the woods; or even a stream in a city gutter. They find peace in other people, but also conflict among them, so they seek out books or use mindfulness techniques to find peace again. The featured children have skin of various hues; one uses a wheelchair, and another is in a hospital. As a result, a wide range of young readers will be able to find representation in these pages. An extensive afterword helpfully shows adults ways to use the book to engage with youngsters, and the final two pages provide sheet music for Penshorn’s song “I Smile at Myself.”
A sparsely written but lovingly illustrated book with a powerful, and empowering, message.