cover image TALK PEACE


Sam Williams, , illus. by Mique Moriuchi. . Holiday, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1936-4

Bouncy and effervescent, colorful and inclusive, this picture book's refrain invites readers to "talk peace." Williams's (illustrator of Tumble Me Tumbily ) exhortation is rhythmic if, at times, clumsy as he challenges readers to "Talk soft./ Talk loud./ Talk shy./ Talk proud./ Talk high./ Talk low./ Way to go,/ Talk peace." Moriuchi's bright, child-like illustrations include animals and children of all nationalities, and feature an ebullient series of unrelated scenes sewn together like quilt blocks into a cohesive whole. On one spread, a picture of penguins ("in a muddle,/ when you huddle,/ when you cuddle") appears opposite four boxed illustrations, which include a trio of apartment buildings, an animal, a girl on top of a mountain and a boy swimming ("in a city,/ on the plain,/ up the mountain,/ in the sea"). The series of prepositional phrases in Williams's narrative moves quickly, but sometimes the drive for rhyme and rhythm overwhelms the syntactical sense of the text. The phrases "On a train,/ on a plane,/ in the sun,/ in the rain" end with the abrupt admonition "understand foreign land." Nonetheless, both the exuberance and the seriousness of the book shine through in Moriuchi's action-filled illustrations, and readers will joyfully join in as they learn to "Be alive,/ gimme five./ When you party,/ party jive./ Dance peace./ Talk peace." Ages 3-6. (Mar.)