Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
Title: Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class
Author: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator: Anne Kennedy
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company, 2009
Themes: schools, animals, conflict resolution, peace week
Bunny wanted to poke fun at Polecat’s green sweater.
She wanted to say, “Here comes Pickle-Puss.”
But this was peace Week.
Miss Fox is tired of hearing her young students quarrel. So she announces Peace Week—no more squabbling for one whole week! The children chime in with their own rules: no fighting, don’t say mean things, and help others. Throughout the week each of the little animals gets a chance to practice this new behavior. When Polecat teases Bunny for wearing a bright yellow sweater, instead of poking fun back at Polecat, Bunny admires his sweater. Soon, to their surprise, the animals are finding that it’s easy to help others, take turns, and say nice things, even when someone is grumpy to them. Wouldn’t it be nice, Squirrel says, if every week could be Peace Week?
Why I like this book:
The story doesn’t pretend that the reflex to argue, the instinct to strike back verbally when you feel someone has been unfair or unkind to you goes away. The story allows Miss Fox’s students to acknowledge those feelings and impulses before they make a decision to do or say something more constructive, and learn to make a habit of kindness.
It’s a great conflict resolution story for young kids, helping young readers seek out means to convert you-hurt-me-so-I’m-going-to-hurt-you-back responses into something gentler in the moment.
Anne Kennedy’s illustrations are sweet and gentle without being cloying. As such they are the perfect partner for Eileen Spinelli’s text, which shares the sweet but not saccharine innocence of childhood, and the basic value of kindness in the context of a clear and engaging storyline. The illustrations remind me a lot of Mercer Mayer.
A great resource for Peace Day/Week, or to read when the kids are having a particularly retaliatory day!
This book is also useful for learning days of the week for younger students.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.