Peace in War
by Lindsay Ann Fink
Balboa Press

"The most powerful super power is peace and love. Wars do not exist when there is peace in your heart."

Beginning with a collaged image of a young girl wearing a turquoise and white frilly dress, complete with a large, pretty bow and set in deep contrast against a black-and-white background of a war-torn, bombed-out aftermath of crumbling buildings, the child looks around to find not a single flower. In simple, innocent terms, she tells the reader she “turns inward” and creates flowers in her mind—this hopeful thought kept close to her heart as she looks for “peace amongst the war.” An amazingly colorful, oversized bouquet of bright flowers appears around her head—like one gigantic crown of painted splendor—blooming in front of another colorless background of a battle tank, its helmeted soldiers busy with deadly destruction. Other pages feature people “angrily fighting,” “emotionally yelling,” “sadly crying,” and “nervously waiting,” all while daisies, sunflowers, roses, and outstretched, reaching hands brighten the otherwise disheartening landscapes.

The message of this strikingly beautiful and unique children’s picture book is clear. Because our individual thoughts and intentions create the reality that is our shared world, by joining the “helpful” people (those among us committed to good deeds, big and small), every single person contains the potential to bring joy, love, compassion, and peace into a world afflicted with discord. People helping people in community, writes Fink, is how we create peace. Fink’s approach to conveying this message—both in terms of simple, repetitive, age-appropriate diction, as well as the stunning artwork gracing every page—is as effective as it is engaging. Specifically, the entire book consists of eye-catching collages, combining vintage and modern aesthetics, engaging the reader with the high-contrast delineation between peace and war, love and despair.

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