cover image The Great Peace March

The Great Peace March

Holly Near. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1941-4

Based on a song composed by singer/feminist/activist Near for the 1986 Great March for Nuclear Disarmament, the text for this boldly designed book tells of unity and purpose, of a shared dream: ``Peace can start with just one heart . . . we will have peace, we will because we must . . . life is a great and mighty march.'' (Included in the back of the book is a musical transcription of the song and a note from the author.) Admirable (and politically correct) though these sentiments are, they seem strained and lofty presented in this format--and too nebulous for youngsters to grasp. Similarly, Desimini's ( Heron Street ; Fish and Flamingo ) artwork, with its poster-strong images and darkly rich colors, may suit Near's lyrics but may also leave children perplexed by its generally abstract renderings. Occasionally realistic likenesses blend uneasily with wavy lines and phantasmagoric backgrounds, producing an overwrought and disappointing result. All ages. (Apr.)