cover image Peace Is an Offering

Peace Is an Offering

Annette LeBox, illus. by Stephanie Graegin. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4091-4

“Peace,” a very big idea, becomes more approachable and achievable when it is reframed as acts of kindness, comfort, and community. “Peace is an offering./ A muffin or a peach,” writes LeBox as Graegin shows a girl visiting an injured, bedridden friend. “A birthday invitation./ A trip to the beach.” Having established peace as something more than a cessation of hostilities, the collaborators underscore the importance of mindfulness and intent, distinguishing peace from perfunctory courtesy and niceness. An offering of peace really means, “Will you stay with me?/ Will you be my friend?/ Will you listen to my story till the very end?” LeBox (Circle of Cranes) can’t resist slipping in a few bromides (“Catch a falling star”), and an allusion to 9/11 feels unnecessary, but she’s successful in making a book that will resonate with both secular and faith-based audiences. Graegin’s (Forget Me Not) calm, tightly rendered, and warm-hued drawings actually do much of the narrative heavy lifting, portraying believable, ordinary children who are empathic peacemakers in their everyday lives. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Steven Chudney, Chudney Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)