Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou ,illustrated by Steven Johnson and Lou Fancher. The Random House rep. stopped by the other day and dropped off a few books including this one. We already have this in the store but truth be told I add no intention of reading it. Sometimes I take bestselling authors for granted. Since the rep was kind enough to drop it off the least I could do was read it. I really really enjoyed it and I read it three times in a row. I do this with picture books I like so I can get a better feel for the tempo of the story and better appreciate the illustrations. Today when a customer asked for great new Christmas book, I was able to sell a copy. Amazing Peace was read by Maya Angelou (for some reason it doesn't feel right to just write Angelou) At the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington D.C in 2005. She wrote this poem after several world tragedies. Maya Angelou doesn't preach, she merely shares her dream of a world coming together again to believe in peace. The illustrations by Steven Johnson and Lou Fancher are perfect. If asked to describe them I'd say the illustrators used primarily browns, reds, dark oranges against a cream page back drop. I love the faces of the many different people and the detail in their clothes. The snow has an unfinished walked in look. When I open to the front page of the book it tells me the illustrators used oil, acrylic and fabric on canvas. The book comes with a CD with Maya Angelou reading it. The CD is just okay there's hardly any voice inflections in Dr. Angelou's voice. I can't see four or five years old getting into. Though I do think a storyteller could do a lot with this book to keep kids interested. This would make a great read aloud because it has a beautiful flow. The text and pictures work together very well, you can appreciate both alone or together. Time to share
Hope is born again in the faces of children,
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets
Hope spreads around the earth brightening all things. Even hate, which crouches in dark corridors.