VOICE FROM AFAR by Tony Johnston


Poems of Peace
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up
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Twenty-six verse vignettes convey with urgency and emotion the harsh realities of a world strafed by war but yearning for peace. In this world of sweet plums “swollen with summer,” silent sequoias “holy with years” and rosebushes blooming “whatever comes,” a starving dog “wanders the famished dark,” an old woman stares at her bombed house and the body of a girl lies crumpled on a street. In this world, rain brings the promise of “flowers springing up,” a red flower sprouts “from the abandoned boot of a soldier” and hope trills like a “bird in the heart.” Images of starving families with prayer beads they cannot eat, tanks shelling clay houses and exploding buses are juxtaposed with visions of the ephemeral bird of peace skimming the earth, villagers uniting in an olive grove to “create a plan for peace” and the moon bestowing “luminous peace.” Guevara’s Impressionistic acrylic-and-oil illustrations add visual impact to the universal verbal images of war and peace. A moving invitation to hope. (Picture book/poetry. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2012-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2008


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