A heartfelt lament by a Palestinian writer is paired to evocative images by an Israeli illustrator.
The recurring image of a dead bird appears on the book's cover and twice again within this call for a halt to violence. The speaker appeals to common humanity in urging readers to join her in the titular refusal to kill: "I see mothers wailing for the loss of their children. / I see children grasping the air seeking the comforting arms of their slain mothers. / I see fathers burying their babies in white cloths." Eitan's mixed-media paintings play with symbolism and, appropriately, negative space. A tank faces a flowering cactus; the silhouette of a child holds a doll in her lap, blood streaming down from her scalp. While Farouky's verse is uneven, rhymed portions featuring some clumsy wording and halting rhythms, it is nevertheless sincere, and Eitan's art speaks volumes itself. In paired closing images, two women reach out to each other: in the first, dark silhouettes appear against a red sky and a leafless tree; with the turn of the page, they appear in full color under a blue sky and pink-blossoming tree. Translations of the poem in Hebrew and Arabic follow the text in the English edition along with background on the poem, and there are separate Hebrew and Arabic editions as well.
"I will not": this brief book shows the positive power in a negative. (Picture book. 12 & up)