The Big Book for Peace

by Ann Durell

Hardcover, 1990





Dutton Juvenile (1990), Edition: 1st, 120 pages


The wisdom of peace and the absurdity of fighting are demonstrated in seventeen stories and poems by outstanding authors of today such as Jean Fritz, Milton Meltzer, and Nancy Willard, illustrated by famous illustrators such as Paul Zelinsky, the Dillons, and Maurice Sendak.

Media reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this era of glasnost and breathtakingly rapid political change, it's hard to imagine a more timely and welcome book for children. The range of material included under the general umbrella of ``peace'' is wide, and includes original fables, poems, biographies, illustrations, etc. from such distinguished contributors as Katherine Paterson, Maurice Sendak, Lois Lowry and Jerry Pinkney. The stories about the roots of war are told on a scale that children can grasp: envy between two girls in neighboring treehouses escalates into a cold war; a pair of princes squabble over their turf and eventually destroy each other's kingdoms. Equally useful for home, library or classroom--where more and more teachers are including units on peace--this thoughtfully written, attractively designed volume is a winner in every way. Royalties will be donated to a selection of organizations that champion world peace.

User reviews

LibraryThing member marinty
"The wisdom of peace and the absurdity of fighting are demonstrated in 17 stories and poems by such outstanding authors as Jean Fritz, Milton Meltzer and Nancy Willard. Illustrators for the book include Maurice Sendak and Paul Zelinsky,
LibraryThing member mosaic42
Not generally recommended.

Sendak's sole contribution is a single color plate (the same as that used on the cover) -- the other contributions are mostly illustrated essays and stories of uneven quality.
LibraryThing member bunwat
I agree with those who said this book was uneven. It also seems to me that it lacked a coherent direction or tone. Some of the stories seemed too simple for older kids and some were too frightening for younger ones so I was confused about what age group this was aimed at. Thematically it wandered; some authors seemed to be writing about how people might behave peacefully, others about how war is frightening and bad, some about how to agitate or demonstrate for political change, others retold native american stories, some gave episodes from US history. I do get that there is a common thread to all of this but it wasn't a strong enough thread to pull the book together. It felt like a bunch of very loosely related parts just thrown together. Some of the loosely related parts were charming, some were less so. All in all I felt like it needed a much stronger editor and in the end I wanted to like this book much more than I did like it.… (more)
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
Peace--the issue of our times--affects everyone, but especially children, who deserve and wish for a peaceful future. This book contains 17 stories about peace from some of the best-loved authors and illustrators for children.
LibraryThing member francescaimig
A collection of short stories written by multiple well-know authors. This book is a good resource to have for short story reading to use during rest time. It has less pictures than a picture book per story.
LibraryThing member uufnn
About the authors and illustrator's: [About 30 years ago] [a]t a conference. . .a young librarian remarked angrily that she had just come from a book-selection meeting at which some of her colleagues had enthused over a new 'war' book. . .Out of her anger, and the strong antiwar feeling of others. . .,the idea for this big book for pece was born." Source: inside the book's back cover. Many favorite children's book authors and illustrators donated their time, talent and proceeds for this book. Some of those people are Lloyd Alexander, Jean Fritz, Lois Lowry, Marilyn Sachs, Charlotte Zolotow, Leo Dillon, Barbara Cooney, Diane and Leo Dillon, Steven Kellogg and Maurice Sendak. The profits from the book went to organizations working for peace.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

120 p.; 20 inches


0525446052 / 9780525446057


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