Monday, November 26, 2007

Why War is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker

" Though War has a mind of its own, War never knows Who it is going to hit." When she wrote this picture book, Alice Walker set out to provide a vehicle to help adults talk to children about war and the realities of war. Her writing is poetic but not sentimental. And her emphasis is upon the effects of war on people and on our precious Earth, a favorite theme of Walker's.

She begins with several idyllic scenes in villages and moves on to describe the dark and destructive forces which make up warfare. Illustrator Stefano Vitale has created images which symbolize those forces and amplify the words, words like "Here War is munching on a village, its missiles taking chunks, big bites out of it." However, author and illustrator are careful not to glorify or even portray the death of human beings, the ultimate consequence of war. Adults guiding their children to try to understand war by using this book will have to explain about death for themselves.

Recommended for children 10 years and up, with adult guidance and discussion.

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