Shalom Salaam Peace
Region: The Middle East
Author: Howard I. Bogot
Original Language: Arabic, English, Hebrew
Translator: Faruk Jarrar & Amir Or
Illustrator: Norman Gorbaty
Genre: Poetry, Songs, and Rhymes
Descriptors: children’s poetry; environment; peace; trilingual books; war
Age: 4-5 years old
Shalom Salaam Peace is a trilingual poem presented in Arabic, English, and Hebrew that discusses the meaning of peace. Throughout the poem, readers are given to understand how much better the world would be if world peace is achieved. The environment is rich and clean, with blooming flowers, trees, and glittering streams, rather than trash-filled and war-torn. Instead of creating weapons of war, time will be spent building children’s playgrounds and fostering a community where people are happy, safe, and respected, no matter who they are. The story ends with quotations from children who define what peace means to them. The book is intended to be read from right to left, to match the layout of Arabic- and Hebrew-language books, which may need to be explained to Western audiences, so they read the story from the beginning, not from the end. The illustrations by Norman Gorbaty are big and colorful and do an excellent job of elucidating the idea of the poem for young readers. This story is great for children who are 4 to 5 years old.
More About This Book
Notes: The book was published in New York, where the author worked at the time, before moving to Israel.
Content warning: Page 16 features images of weapons such as army tanks, missiles, land mines, bullets, a gun, and a knife.
Reviewed by: Leah Byrnes