stories for all

amazing peace

Angelou, Maya (2008) Amazing Peace:A Christmas Poem. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books

This work by Maya Angelou, first read at the White House tree lighting ceremony in 2005, becomes an illustrated children’s book that expresses the true meaning behind the concept of the holidays; a time where people of different ages, religions (believers and non-believers), and classes come together and celebrate communal peace. While this specific publication is illustrated more for the interpretation and enjoyment of children, these pictures illicit a beautiful representation of different individuals within the community coming away from rancor, and reveling in the abundant sound of peace which brings comfort, security, and harmony. What’s most interesting about this work, is the way in which although the word “Christmas” is used to describe this celebratory time of the year, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslims, etc., revel in this time of holiday celebration and peace. Christmas, here, I believe is being used as a word to denote a time of year, rather than being used as a sort of “religious umbrella”.

fiction · stories for all

Tiger in My Soup

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Sheth, Kashmira (2013) Tiger In My Soup Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers

When a young boy is left in the care of his older sister for the day, he asks her several times to read one of his favorite books that, as the reader can infer from the illustration on the drawn book and the boy’s description, is about a tiger. However, as the sister is preoccupied with her own reading, she refuses him for all the different times he asks. The boy then gives up, asking for lunch, and the sister provides him with a hot bowl of soup in which she does not notice the tiger rising from the steam–but her brother does, provoking a journey of survival and adventure. This novel does not only appeal to children who have ever been baby-sat by their older sibling, but reiterates the idea that although some children may not be able to read their favorite stories, illustration and imagination can be just as exciting, continuing to promote a love of reading.