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Why War Is Never A Good Idea    by Alice Walker & Stefano Vitale order for
Why War Is Never A Good Idea
by Alice Walker
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Pulitzer-prize winning author/poet Alice Walker, probably best known for The Color Purple, has dramatized the devastating effects of war in this moving picture book aimed at children.

In poetic form, Walker personifies War:
'Though War speaks
Every language
It never knows
What to say
To frogs.

Picture frogs
Beside a pond
Holding their annual

They do not see War
Huge tires
Of a
About to
Them flat.

And ...
'War has bad manners
War eats everything
In its path
& what
It doesn't

The book's inside cover says that it is intended for all ages, though many will disagree. Younger children will likely not fully grasp the subject matter, but more mature children will, though parents should be prepared for a discussion about war. No doubt this book will spark controversy, but it is hard to argue that Alice Walker is a gifted writer.

The illustrations are gorgeous and vibrant, an ironically stark contrast to the book's powerful message, but filled with hope for a future without war. There are some disturbing visual images in the book, such as a picture of missiles destroying a village. Both the book's pictures and words leave the reader to imagine what will occur next, which could open up grounds for meaningful dialogue on this serious subject.

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