Manneken Pis) interviews elementary students at the Ambrit International School in"/>

WHAT DOES PEACE FEEL LIKE?

Vladimir Radunsky, Author, Vladimir Radunsky, Illustrator . Atheneum/ Schwartz $14.95 (24p) ISBN 978-0-689-86676-0

In this timely exercise, well worth repeating in any home or school, Radunsky (Manneken Pis) interviews elementary students at the Ambrit International School in Rome. Each inviting spread addresses one of the five senses and gives the interviewees' often poetic thoughts on peace; the author/artist treats the children's answers seriously, without making them seem precious or cute. Under a large heading that asks "What does Peace look like?," the respondents imagine "new babies just born yesterday" and "something beautiful that goes away but will come back." One child suggests "a cat and a dog curled up together in a basket," and Radunsky pictures this scene in a full-spread painting; curiously, the yin-and-yang white dog and black cat do not touch or look at one another, but they do appear relaxed. Under the question "What does Peace sound like?," the children answer, "like a silent day... like everyone's heart beating, making one big sound together," and small print on the far right gives their names (from Michael to Bhavana to Finbar) and ages. The final page translates the word "peace" into almost 200 languages, implying the world population's ideals. Radunsky's sensual paintings, with their swooping gestures, smears and rousing saturated colors, complement his questions on perception (some readers might wish for more diversity in skin hues among the people pictured—or more people, period). Kindness emanates from this volume, which proposes a simple but effective experiment for contemplating peace. All ages. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 12/20/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
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