Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peace, Bugs and Understanding (review)

Peace, Bugs, and Understanding: An Adventure in Sibling Harmony
Author: Gail Silver
Illustrator: Youme Nguyen Ly
Publisher: Plum Blossom Books (December 9, 2014)
Received in digital form from the publisher via NetGalley.

Lilly is having a picnic, but her little sister, Ruby, keeps ruining things. But just as Lilly starts to snap, her father hands her a special old book, a journal kept by his own grandfather. Lilly gets lost in the story of how her great-grandfather, Lanh, struggles with his own sister, and how he meets a strange frog who is his Anger. Lanh learns that he must soothe his Anger, and search for his Metta, or "loving kindness." I find the latter term a little jarring, but I can see that it would be useful to have a word for this to use with a young child.

Lanh learns to calm himself down and focus on wishing for the happiness of another, in this case his sister. Lilly sees herself in the story, and realizes that she, too, must soothe her anger and focus on wishing for the happiness of her little sister, who doesn't mean to break things or cause trouble.

The lovely watercolors by Youme Nguyen Ly project a sense of calm that works beautifully with the message. I think this would be a very helpful book for parents of young children or for pre-schools.

I would recommend this for children in pre-school through second grade, but especially to be read with an adult.

Four out of five starts.

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