Parents' Guide to

Why War Is Never a Good Idea

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Severe look at war's impact better for older kids.

Book Alice Walker Poetry 2007
Why War Is Never a Good Idea Poster Image

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Stefano Vitale's illustrations for this book have been called "unflinching," and Alice Walker's poem is too. Both are far from timid, unsettling at times, and completely appropriate to the message that WAR IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA. However, though it's presented in a picture book format, this is a better fit for older kids.

War is not a game, and it impacts all even though it may be happening halfway around the world. Mahatma Gandhi once wrote "if we are to reach real peace in this world...we shall have to begin with the children." However, this book may be a rough place for small kids to start. Mature readers and adults will be moved by both its beauty, ugliness, and truth -- and will find plenty to discuss.

Stefano Vitale's illustrations have been called "unflinching," and it's true, as the illustrations reflect the author's intense poetry about war's dangers: bright colors and happy, peaceful scenes fill the first few pages -- but that happiness slowly dissolves as the hidden destruction caused by war seeps in.

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