HOW TO TURN WAR INTO PEACE: A Child's Guide to Conflict Resolution by Louise Armstrong

HOW TO TURN WAR INTO PEACE: A Child's Guide to Conflict Resolution

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If your aim is to teach children the vocabulary of international conflict, then Armstrong's simple sand-castle scenario and Basso's broadly funny cartoons are just the ticket. To see the little boy (""you"") shaking his shovel at Susie, whose castle is encroaching on his, is to recognize the meaning of WEAPON DETERRENT, and later, when ""Susie kicks sand in your sandwich"" during a TEMPORARY CEASE FIRE (lunch break), you see what FRESH PROVOCATION is. (Armstrong even has newcomer PeeWee, a NEUTRAL OBSERVER, practicing SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY between the two castles.) Of course none of this will help readers resolve real sand-castle disputes (most kids learning to read are too old for pails and shovels anyway); nor will it help them evaluate international disputes. On the contrary, it could be argued that the very presentation of such a ritualized conflict vocabulary, especially in a how-to primer handbook (serious or not), makes such activities as MOBILIZING TROOPS and RESUMING HOSTILITIES seem like normal, civilized, expectable behavior. The fact that this is classed as an easy-reader despite the big-time vocabulary raises another question of appropriateness.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich