Updated: Sep 15, 2021
If you’ve been following me for a while, you will be familiar with my affinity for sing-a-long books and so I absolutely could not resist this one.
Vivid and joyful illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds brings alive Cat Steven‘s lyrics of an old peace anthem, ‘Peace Train’ 50 years after they were first written...capturing the spirit of the lyrics by highlighting the diversity of the world we live in.
The plea for peace remains as relevant as ever, however the lyrics are not the easiest for young children to comprehend. I cannot imagine reading this book aloud, I can only imagine children taking to this book if it is presented as a ‘sing-aloud’, melody always reaching in and touching the youngest hearts.
If singing is not your forte, I recommend at least reading it in the rhythm that it is sung in. Do watch a video of Cat Steven’s singing the book, https://youtu.be/Jk4Grh1tpR0
Errr or me doing a hatch job on the high notes at the end of this post.
My mind sees this being a much stronger share with my older students who may connect with the metaphor of the ‘peace train’, the ‘edge of darkness’ and the possibilities of why they should ride this train, where will it take them?
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the cool retro endpapers of hearts, flowers, leaves, planets, and peace sign, images carried throughout the book, especially in the fun smoke/ steam of the engine.
Whether through song or humanitarian work, Cat Steven’s has always been a spokesperson for peace. His Peacetrain charity spreads the message through relief work, education and medical aid.
A groovy, book of hope, peace, unity and a call for unity…”Why must we go on hating, why can’t we live in bliss?”