My friend Caren Stelson and I started writing a monthly column in Bookology Magazine called Peace-ology. We are exploring how we can encourage peacemaking through picture books, curious questions and intentional action steps. Below are excerpts our first few articles:
January: Reading Books Through the Lens of Peace
Ellie: I read to my three- and five-year-old children every single day. They memorize lines from books and book characters are the basis for our imaginative play. I also teach peace literacy to teenagers. I am fascinated as a parent and teacher which books spark curiosity in kids and broaden their universe. Which books lead to true exploration around power and reconciliation? Which beautifully show humanities unfolding with a bend toward justice? I am actively on the look-out for books that inform our imaginations about what kind of healed world is possible. READ the full article HERE.
February: Knowing Your Past to Make Peace
Ellie: The other day, I looked over the shoulder of my five-year-old to see what he was drawing. There was the Ireland flag on the left, the Norway flag on the right, and he was finishing the United States flag in the middle. Simon was born on the day his great grandmother died. He has always been curious about his ancestors. When my spouse’s extended family sings the Norwegian table prayer in harmony, Simon joins in enthusiastically. I love feeding this curiosity of his in part because I believe we need to know where we come from and where we are currently standing to move toward a peaceful future.
In raising peacemakers capable of reconciliation, I have committed to filling our house with books written by and about Native people so my children will know the history of the land we inhabit. One of our current favorites is Shi-Shi-Etko by Nicola L. Campbell. Shi-Shi-Etko (Groundwood Books) tells the story of a girl spending her last four days with her family before being taken away to a residential school. Her extended family fill her mind and heart with memories, knowledge and love so she will not forget where she came from. She visits the woods, the river and the creek, gathering bits of nature to take with her. It is tragic and beautiful. The stunning images pair well with the poetic words, both infusing our hearts. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.