Review by BelleReadsNietzsche -- I Can See Peace

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BelleReadsNietzsche
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Review by BelleReadsNietzsche -- I Can See Peace

Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 23 Feb 2019, 23:05

[Following is a volunteer review of "I Can See Peace" by Julie Penshorn.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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How do you find peace? Is it in your morning coffee? Cuddling your partner at the end of the day? Admiring the perfect ball-shape that your cat curls herself into for a nap? Author Julie Penshorn, MBC, thinks this is an essential question. She believes that finding peace is a skill that can and that should be taught. To that end, she has written and published I Can See Peace for kids ages four through nine. The book is a part of her Smart Tools for Life series, co-created with content editor Rebecca Janke, M. Ed. Its colorful illustrations are provided by Jeanine-Jonee Keith.

I Can See Peace opens with an unidentified narrator telling the reader where they can “see peace”—on the beach, on the basketball court, among animals, and even in the rain. Images of diverse children playing illustrate where and how peace can be found. Any or all of these children could be the narrator, giving readers of different backgrounds and ability levels a chance to see themselves in the book. As the story continues, the narrator also recounts how peace can be disrupted as well as how it can be restored.

Peace’s final pages are for adults only, providing techniques for helping a child apply the book’s lessons to their own life and practice self-calming skills. They include a song parents and children can sing about finding peace in oneself, discussion questions, and games for the whole family. This detailed supplemental material makes the book exceedingly high in value and likely to support real-world learning. Parents, caregivers, and teachers will be able to return to this one again and again, with new questions and activities to deepen learning each time.

The book is also professionally edited with no identifiable grammar or spelling errors. I did find a single instance of poor formatting, but this may be my own subjective assessment. I also believe Peace would benefit from page numbers. (My digital copy did not have them.) Furthermore, I would have appreciated the book defining the term "peace"—but even this can be a discussion question for families!

I give I Can See Peace 4 out of 4 stars. It teaches an essential lesson, one underdressed in children’s literature. Children will be able to understand, relate to, and enjoy it. They will also like its rich and vivid pictures. The only argument I can think of for a lower rating might be that the book does not have great literary merit. This is not The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, for example, in its rhyme scheme or wordplay. Not all of the rhymes in the book are perfectly true rhymes, either—for example, "all around me” is rhymed with “in the trees." But such a critique misses the point of the Peace, which succeeds in its mission of fostering learning about managing emotions in an engaging and age-appropriate way. Given its considerable strengths and professional presentation, a four-star rating is appropriate.

I believe helping children develop resilience is vital. Most children experience stress and anxiety in their lives. The ability to cope effectively can impact learning ability and social success in childhood, not to mention life satisfaction and professional success in adulthood. It also significantly affects health outcomes throughout the lifespan. Parents, caregivers, teachers, and mental health professionals who share my belief will enjoy this book.

Readers who think the concept of finding peace is hokey may roll their eyes at this one. The word “peace” can have connotations some may dismiss as “hippie-dippy.” (Such readers may be soothed by substituting the word “peace” with “calm.”) Nevertheless, I believe I Can See Peace is for everyone except the Grinchiest of readers. The world is chaotic; who doesn't want to find a little calm within its storms?

******
I Can See Peace
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Lunastella
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Post by Lunastella » 26 Feb 2019, 06:57

I believe helping children develop resilience is vital. Most children experience stress and anxiety in their lives. The ability to cope effectively can impact learning ability and social success in childhood, not to mention life satisfaction and professional success in adulthood. It also significantly affects health outcomes throughout the lifespan. Parents, caregivers, teachers, and mental health professionals who share my belief will enjoy this book.

Readers who think the concept of finding peace is hokey may roll their eyes at this one. The word “peace” can have connotations some may dismiss as “hippie-dippy.” (Such readers may be soothed by substituting the word “peace” with “calm.”) Nevertheless, I believe I Can See Peace is for everyone except the Grinchiest of readers. The world is chaotic; who doesn't want to find a little calm within its storms?
I don't have kids yet but I have struggled with anxiety and I think most of us experience some level of stress and anxiety nowadays, as well as a lot of people have to deal with mental illness. Learning to find peace, although it can sound very new-age and "hippy-dippy", as you say, can be a very valuable asset and if you develop it since childhood and it can very much improve the future quality of your life and teach you a healthy way to deal with hardship.
So, I think this book presents a very valuable lesson and I'm glad it provides creative applications, resources and ways for the kids to take the lesson into their lives. It would be great if the literary aspect were better, but I still think it's a helpful book worth taking into account for people with kids or, even as a gift for the young ones in our lives.
Thank you for your insightful and honest review.

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Post by InStoree » 26 Feb 2019, 07:10

Children represent the future! A grounded education will help them become independent, balanced and self-confident adults. I'm glad to hear that Julie Penshorn makes her valuable contribution to the future generation. This book, from my point of view, should be introduced into school educational programs. Or maybe it is already? It will definitely be on my shelf. Thank you for your review!
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Post by Kajori50 » 26 Feb 2019, 08:10

Seeing peace is an intriguing concept. Most of us look for peace most of our lives. In my opinion this is great for children as they would learn to value peace from an early age. The pictures are a plus point.

Thank you for the lovely review.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 26 Feb 2019, 09:45

I hope the this read stands out to its name. Thank you for your detailed information!
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Post by gen_g » 26 Feb 2019, 10:03

This sounds like both an interesting read for the children, and an enlightening one for the adults! I agree with you that resilience is an important quality for people to possess, and it's always better to start young. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Bluebird03 » 26 Feb 2019, 10:25

I loved your review! Yes, with the world in such chaos, I welcome any book or suggestion that teaches us (and especially childen!) how we can all find more peace and calm in our daily lives. Thank you for the thorough and interesting review!

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Post by labibliofile » 26 Feb 2019, 13:27

This sounds very interesting! I think the reason the author may not have defined peace is that it is very subjective and can imply a different meaning to all and defining it would may constraint the reader's minds. I love how you have mentioned that in the introduction with the unidentified narrator that any reader could see themselves in the book. This book could be invaluable for kids that are taught about it at a young age. Thank you for the insightful review!
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Post by Zora C Penter » 26 Feb 2019, 13:39

My favorite year that I worked as a counselor at a summer camp preparing students for college was the year that we threw out the traditional study tips and focused on two things: resourcefulness and resilience. You are so right that the elements presented in this book are hard to find elsewhere, especially when you want to find something catering to younger readers.

I am glad that you mentioned the discussion questions at the end. That can be useful to both teachers and parents!

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Post by inaramid » 26 Feb 2019, 20:05

Very well said! :clap: Let's take every antidote we can to help soothe the turmoil in the world. Teaching kids about peace is a great step towards that. Thank you for this review!

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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 26 Feb 2019, 23:48

@Lunastella, @InStoree,
@Kajori50, @Sahani Nimandra, @gen_g, @Bluebird03, @inaramid,

I totally agree! Thanks so much for reading my review and Forbes your valuable comments! : :romance-cloud9: :text-thankyouyellow: :romance-grouphug:
"The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Ratatouille (2007)

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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 26 Feb 2019, 23:55

labibliofile wrote:
26 Feb 2019, 13:27
This sounds very interesting! I think the reason the author may not have defined peace is that it is very subjective and can imply a different meaning to all and defining it would may constraint the reader's minds. I love how you have mentioned that in the introduction with the unidentified narrator that any reader could see themselves in the book. This book could be invaluable for kids that are taught about it at a young age. Thank you for the insightful review!
I think you’re right that they wanted to leave the meaning of peace open to the individual and also open to all connotations! Thanks for commenting. :)
"The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Ratatouille (2007)

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BelleReadsNietzsche
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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 26 Feb 2019, 23:56

Zora C Penter wrote:
26 Feb 2019, 13:39
My favorite year that I worked as a counselor at a summer camp preparing students for college was the year that we threw out the traditional study tips and focused on two things: resourcefulness and resilience. You are so right that the elements presented in this book are hard to find elsewhere, especially when you want to find something catering to younger readers.

I am glad that you mentioned the discussion questions at the end. That can be useful to both teachers and parents!
YES YES YES re: focusing on resilience and resourcefulness over study tips! Studying is obviously important, but without those two qualities, it’s so much harder to have the foundation on which studying can carry one through. Thanks for your comment and your insight.
"The bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so." -Ratatouille (2007)

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Post by RedDustBunny » 27 Feb 2019, 21:35

The world is so full of stimulation all the time, that it can be nearly impossible for children to disconnect. Thanks for your insightful review. This book sounds well thought through. I might have to find a copy for my daughter!

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Post by EvaDar » 28 Feb 2019, 11:14

I think this book sounds like a beautiful guide for parents wanting to bring more peace and calm into the lives of their children. I can think of some parents who would love to read this book and incorporate the ideas. I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks!
When I am afraid to speak is when I speak.
That is when it is most important.
-Nayyirah Waheed

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