The book If Peace Is… by Jane Baskwill has simple words and nice rhymes to try to explain what peace means. The word peace encompasses such a broad concept that it can be hard for kids to really grasp what it means.
I have talked about peace in some of my kids yoga classes and, after explaining a bit or reading a book about it, I always like to ask them what they think peace means. I’ve heard many different things, as you can imagine, such as “Peace is me sitting down quietly” or “My cat/dog napping by my side”. All are valid! It is important that children understand peace can manifest at various levels, for example: in the world – a war in some other country has ended; in their neighborhood – mornings are so quiet that I can hear birds singing; inside their houses – my cat likes to lie quietly on my lap; inside themselves – at bedtime, I lie still in my bed and I am able to watch my thoughts/hear my breath for a few minutes before falling asleep.
The book does a great job giving examples of ways to perceive peace. The author writes about peace being a garden or a song, among other ideas. The illustrations are colorful and beautiful. Everything in the book has some kind of distorted line as if you were seeing it from behind some stained glass, which to me translates seeing from your own perspective, which can be distorted by your own emotions.
It could be a good book to use in a kid yoga class not just because it talks about peace, but also because it mentions or shows things we can imitate with our bodies in yoga, such as tree, fish, candle, moon, butterfly, bird, etc. Towards the end of the book, a particular rhyme spoke to me (even more than the others): “Peace is a promise we make one another to love and protect, and to care for each other.” Very nice way to end class, leading into a savasana with some visualization about finding your inner peace , identifying it so the children will be able to remember it and find it inside themselves on some other day when they really need it – in the middle of life happening, not just when they are lying down calmly.
It is an inspirational book!