Jasper is a bit of a book fiend, and we tend to visit our local library branch once or twice a week. We were already doing this pre-baby, since Sean and I are also book fiends (apple…tree).
The other day, Sean and Jazz went by themselves, and returned with Why War is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker.
Yes —the Alice Walker you’re thinking of.
Though War is Old, it has not become wise. It will not hesitate to destroy things that do not belong to it. Things very much older than itself. – Why War is Never a Good Idea
I had no idea Walker wrote children’s books (she also penned There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me), but I am beyond glad that Sean picked this particular book out. Jasper is still a little young to really grasp the concept of war (aren’t we all?), but it’s incredibly important to both of us that he is aware of as much of the world as possible as early as possible — the beautiful and the ugly. I think, regardless of your opinion of war, just about everyone will agree it falls on the ugly end of the spectrum.
While the book is technically a children’s book, I would recommend it for anyone, regardless of age, who believes with the title. I’d recommend it to people who disagree, but I’m not sure they would be swayed.
When it comes to nursing mothers it is blind; Milk, especially human, it cannot see. Picture a woman beside a window. She is blissful, singing a lullaby. A baby twirls a lock of her dark hair, suckles for all it is worth. – Why War is Never a Good Idea (p. 11-12)
The illustrations are by the immeasurably talented Stefano Vitale, who is now hands-down one of my favorite illustrators/artists, period. Each page is vibrant, lush, and filled with bold colors that help the emotion behind the words into a realized vision. It truly pains me that I can’t find photos online, because the illustrations are that important and perfect.
At fifteen months, this isn’t a book that Jasper wants to read over and over again, but he does study the illustrations while we’re going through it. He’s still in the Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb phase, but I anticipate this book will be a treasured favorite in a year or so.