A secular prayer for peace.
The noted Israeli artist, designer, children’s book writer, and Holocaust survivor originally wrote this tale during the 1982 Lebanon War. It has now been published for a new audience with his original words and illustrations. A dejected hawk, weary of war, morphs into a “gentle dove.” In the following pages, the machines of war turn into tractors, butterflies, sailboats, and fields of colorful flowers. Still, the hawk is worried, for in his and our world there may still be other hawks that are intent upon destruction. The rhyming couplets of the text are quietly compelling. What is most arresting, though, are the illustrations, cut-paper designs that pop from the page against a white background. The recto pages are two-thirds sized, with the edge of the artwork on the first or warmongering page becoming the edge of the artwork on the peaceful page. Thus the rear wheel of a tank is transformed into the front wheel of a tractor. A falling bomb becomes the body of a butterfly. Adults sharing this title with children will find a resource both for discussion and for art projects.
While perhaps bringing to mind classic 1960s protest songs, Kor’s heartfelt plea to put an end to war should resonate deeply today. (author’s note) (Picture book. 7-10)