What is Peace?

Etan Boritzer; Jeff Ver­non, illus.
  • Review
By – April 2, 2012

This book reads like a col­lec­tion of the author’s thoughts and ques­tions on the sub­ject of peace. Each page opens with a word like how,” maybe” or what if,” encour­ag­ing the read­er to form her own opin­ion. The sim­plis­tic illus­tra­tions on the fac­ing pages are mul­ti­cul­tur­al, fea­tur­ing peo­ple in a vari­ety of set­tings, wear­ing every­thing from tur­bans to den­im. The vers­es are sur­round­ed by the word peace” in 32 languages. 

Each page starts out with sim­pler issues, like being afraid in a dark room. By the bot­tom of the page, the issues are broad­ened and more dif­fi­cult, like being afraid because some­one hates your reli­gion or the lan­guage your par­ents speak. The con­crete exam­ples bring mean­ing to the con­cept of peace in a very acces­si­ble way. 

The Jew­ish val­ue of shalom is for peo­ple of all faiths and back­grounds, as is the tar­get audi­ence for the book. Boritzer defines pray­ing as try­ing to hold on to your peace. He also offers the sug­ges­tion to pray to send love to oth­ers who might be afraid of los­ing their peace. This is the lat­est in a series which includes, What is Love?, What is Death? and What is God?, among oth­ers. Ages 7 – 10.

Rachel Ros­ner is the Direc­tor of the Jew­ish Book Fes­ti­val in Rochester, NY. She also runs Jew­ish Fam­i­ly Pro­grams for the JCC, and has worked there since 1994. She holds a degree in Ear­ly Child­hood Edu­ca­tion from Syra­cuse University.

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