Peace stories for children

Welcome!  Here are some stories by other authors; and one free thing that I’ve written; and two books I’ve written (one of which I’ll send you for free if you ask). I’m always glad to read comments and other ideas.  You can post below, or find my email address in “About.”

1. Six Crows by Leo Lionni – this is a great children’s book about peace.

A review of Six Crows from the School Library Journal:

“Lionni’s story about a farmer facing marauding crows teaches a lesson about making peace in the midst of escalating conflict.  The farmer is enraged by six noisy crows who keep eating the wheat in his field, and he builds a scarecrow to frighten them off.  The crows are disturbed, but not willing to give up, so they design a kite to scare off the monster.  The farmer then builds a bigger and fiercer scarecrow, and the crows a fiercer kite. Meanwhile, the wheat is dying from neglect.  A watching owl manages to bring the two sides together, and they work out a compromise.  This brief, simple story works on a literal level as well as on a metaphoric one. It is illustrated with Lionni’s usual handsome, colorful collages which project well for reading aloud to groups.” (By Amy Spaulding, Pratt Institute Brooklyn)

2. Costa Rica abolished its armed forces in 1948 and to this day has no army. Older children may enjoy reading about that choice, and the man who was largely behind it, José Figueres. The story is told in 20 phone-size jpegs, here:

Facebook page: Jose Figueres abolishes the armed forces of Costa Rica

3. A Map and a Mule, my children’s book about Queen Isabel of Portugal: Isabel was a peacemaker of the 1300s who helped prevent one war by assisting with drawing the border between Portugal and Spain, and prevented a battle between her husband and their son (!) by riding on a mule between their two armies. This is a short book (24 pages) for young children. Now available for Kindle as well as in paperback.

Amazon link:

A Map and a Mule

A Map and a Mule cover

I’m glad to “gift” you a Kindle version of A Map and a Mule; you can find my contact in “About.”

4. The story of John Newcomer from Plant a Seed of Peace by Rebecca Seiling (Herald Press).  Newcomer was a Mennonite who made hunting rifles for a living in the early 1770s; when he was pressured to sell guns to the new U.S. government for military use he stopped making them altogether, switching to other blacksmithing work.

Plant a Seed of Peace has many great biographical stories:

[Alert: This book has religious themes! Atheists, you’ve been warned! Atheists, you can still think that John Newcomer was awesome, it’s OK!]

http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/ResourceView/2/9609

5. Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About by Margaret Read MacDonald – About 30 good folktales — no illustrations, though.

6. Peace stories from the Old Testament

I’d say they are literally few and far between, but here are five:

..I. Abraham makes peace with Abimelech. Genesis 21: 22:34. Abraham establishes peace with the Hebrews’ former enemies, the Philistines.

..II. Joseph forgives his brothers after they sell him into slavery. Begins at Genesis 37. Why is this a peace story? Because forgiveness has something to do with peace.

..III. The story of Ruth and Boaz: Boaz treats Ruth, a foreigner, well. The story is explained in the book of Ruth; especially Chapter 2, verses 5-12. Why is this a peace story?  Because Ruth was a stranger in Israel, and a foreigner; and often throughout history, strangers and foreigners have not been treated well. But Boaz was kind to her. Being kind to foreigners has something to do with peace.

..IV. Jonah: The crew of the ship is kind to Jonah, for a few minutes anyway. The book of Jonah, Chapter 1, through the first half of verse 13 explains how Jonah asks a ship’s crew to throw him overboard, but AT FIRST they do not. They at least make an effort to save him. I think this is a tiny peace story embedded in the larger story of Jonah. I’ve heard from people who disagree with me, about this; but I think that strangers making an effort to save a guy who is clearly bringing them very bad luck is admirable and worth pointing out to children (at least).

..V. Swords to plowshares: Micah, Chapter 4, verses 3 and 4 is one of the places in the Old Testament where this appears. I like the phrase in this version in which “no one will make them afraid.” I think of all the children over the centuries who have been made afraid by the warmongering choices of their parents, and I like that verse.

Okay, there you are, you can stop reading.

I have put those five stories into a book; here is a link:

OT Ruth and B exc
Sample pages: Ruth, the foreigner

M

7.  A story about a family member who is/was a war veteran – This is a story I told to some children during Story Time on Veterans Day in our Mennonite church:

On Veterans’ Day we remember veterans, which means soldiers who fought in wars.  My grandfather was born in 1899 and he was drafted into the army when he was 17 or 18.  “Drafted” means the government told him he had to join. He fought in an artillery unit.  (I showed a photo of him from later in his life.)  During the war he was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a bullet or a bomb.  He made it to a field hospital and was told he would survive, but that he needed to eat as little as he could for several days, because his stomach was not working right and could not handle the food.

His sister came to visit him and felt sorry for him because he was not eating. She brought him a lot of food, and she encouraged him to eat; he did so, and that almost killed him.

That is what happens in war.  Young men and women go away from their homes and families; some of them do not come back at all, or they come back wounded, sometimes for life.  (And then sixty years later — within his lifetime! — the soldier’s grandchildren might well be told that the soldier was on the wrong side of the war, and/or might not be able to see the point of the war in the first place . . . I did not say this while delivering this Children’s Time story.)  This is why on Veterans’ Day we remember veterans; and we remember to help, like we always do, any veterans who have come home wounded, or who have come home without jobs; and we work to make sure that we avoid wars so young people do not have to go fight in them.

9 Comments »

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  1. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson is a very good peace book for kids. A dad teaches his son how to get rid of an enemy – a new neighbor boy.

  2. […] Peace stories for children (peacegarret.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] Peace Garret provides six children’s story recommendations. […]

  4. […] Peace Stories for Children […]

  5. […] like to thank PeaceGarret for choosing my children’s story, Little Blue Feather as a winner for the Blogger for Peace […]

  6. I am truly thankful to the holder of this site who has shared this impressive piece of writing at at this place.

    • Thanks very much.


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