I love Anna Grossnickle Hines' art as much as her words- she is a quilter and illustrates her poems with beautiful, beautiful quilts. I'm on a book buying moratorium, but when I saw that she had a new book, well, of course I had to have it.
PEACEFUL PIECES is a collection of 25 poems about peace. There are several poems about creating peace within ourselves. There is a poem about fighting with a sibling. There is a poem about being kind to a classmate when no one else is. There are poems about respect and about angry words. And of course, each poem is accompanied by one of Grossnickle's amazing quilts.
In the back of the book, there are short biographies of eight of the world's great peacemakers- Gandhi, Dorothy Day-- and also two young peacemakers- Samantha Smith and Mattie Stepanek. There is also a short piece about how she sought the help of other quiltmaking friends to create her illustrations.
There are so, so, many great poems that it was hard to choose just one to include in this post, but I finally did:
PEACE: A RECIPE
Open minds-- at least two.
Willing hearts-- the same.
Rinse well with compassion.
Stir in a fair amount of trust.
Season with forgiveness.
Simmer in a sauce of respect
As dash of humor brightens the flavor.
Beat served with hope.
Anna Grossnickle Hines (c) 2011
I think this book would be invaluable in talking to kids (or adults) about peace and love and kindness and respect. I can see myself reading many of these poems the first week of school, then returning to them again and again and again.