The Power of One

One book.  One nation.  One world.

As we are all aware, the United States of America is having some challenges right now.  What kind of nation do you want to live in? What kind of world do you want this to be?  What do you want for your children?

Here’s my unique perspective as a Canadian, early childhood educator, mother and soon to be published author. 

Let’s take a moment to look at the world through the lens of the picture book.  

Since I blog about play, literacy and learning, it feels like the right time to share this brilliantly simple and yet insightful picture book by Kathryn Otoshi.  Picture books can be extremely powerful.  As writers for children, we have the power to put forth books that can leave lasting impressions at a time when children are making sense of the world and developing character.  Yes, our world’s leaders have power but children’s authors have power too and with that power comes great responsibility.  img_2760
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This book supports human rights.  It shows how standing by and watching something happen that we know is wrong won’t help.  It shows how one person who stands up and speaks for what they believe in can have the power to de-escalate feelings of hate and anger. I feel this is exactly what our south of the border neighbour needs right now.  Here are a few photos from inside the book.

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Blue reminds me of Nobel Peace Prize winners like Malala, Ghandi or Mother Theresa.

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Red reminds me of the current feelings in the United States of America and perhaps a certain president-elect?

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It is a children’s book so it has to end well but can you imagine if we could just have this type of resolution for our world?  We need more blue people in the world to help us get there. People who have empathy.  People who believe in peace.  People who have integrity and a sense of social responsibility.  We need to get the bullies on board the peace train.  We need to pull everyone in and make diversity valued.

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
— Maya Angelou

So take a lesson from this simple story and live for peace.  Do not allow anger, hatred and fear to control you but instead devote your life towards a peaceful end that protects human rights and values diversity.

Books like this promote empathy, understanding and peace.

Bravo, Kathryn Otoshi!  May we all learn a lesson from your insightful story.

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