cover image Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace

Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace

Shelley Moore Thomas. Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-7545-1

This affirming prose poem asserts that peace begins with simple gestures--acts in which any child might take part: ""someone/ is/ visiting/ a/ friend/ who/ is/ old""; ""someone/ is/ planting/ a/ tree."" Some of the peace-promoting acts involve crossing cultural boundaries, such as whacking a pi ata or learning to master chopsticks. Thomas (Putting the World to Sleep) quietly makes readers aware of the kindness and pleasures around us. Her spare text and repeating phrases--each page begins with the words ""Somewhere today.../ someone/ is...""--play off well against the warmth and specificity of Futran's photographs. In some, the multicultural families and kids smile happily for the camera; in others, they seem entirely absorbed in their activities. The numerous pictures, varying in size, proportions and quality, show children horsing around, celebrating or concentrating (a few appear washed-out or slightly blurry). The book is a bit like the good deeds it describes--a modest step in the right direction; the author wisely averts didacticism through her use of cogent, everyday examples. Ages 5-9. (Apr.)