Art Reading

Book Review: Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou

This wonderful book was found in a shelf of ripped and jaded books in a little department store in the rural Philippines. I’ve been waiting until Christmas to post my review, and what a wonderful time to read it again.

Amazing Peace is a Christmas poem, about that time of year when …

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled
by it’s presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But true Peace.
A harmony of the spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

The story follows a family who make their way from a place of isolation into the centre of town and community. Through the illustrations we join this family as they connect with the different members of their community and celebrate Christmas.

Peace, my brother.
Peace, my sister.
Peace, my soul.

The poem speaks in a collective voice, and the story of the family unfolds in the illustrations as much as the poem. Its textured paintings are unique and beautiful.

amazing peace by Maya Angelou4
The copy of ‘Amazing Peace’ I found at the back of the little Department store had a small tear on the dust cover BUT still contains the original CD of Ms Angelou reading her poem.

Maya Angelou wrote the poem for the lighting of the Christmas Tree ceremony (White House USA) in 2005 and read the poem at the ceremony. The illustrations were created three years later and this book published in 2008.  I just love how the paintings have these marvellous textures: different fabrics, seams, papers, brush strokes, and etchings.

If you see a copy of this lovely book floating around a 2nd-hand bookstore or garage sale, don’t just buy a copy for your kids — buy it for yourself. Read it at least once a month. Then every day over Christmas.

Merry Christmas friends.

amazing peace by Maya Angelou3
The illustrations are the work of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

 

2 comments

Leave a Reply