ForeWord Reviews

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We Share One World

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2004

Finding peace nowadays seems more difficult than ever. Books like this one, which teaches young children about different peoples and cultures around the world, take a positive step in the direction of peace. The author’s gentle poem is soothing, and its meaning is universal, since some things—like sunshine, air, wind, the moon, rain, singing, and friendship—are the same all over the globe.

The world is seen through a young boy’s eyes in this volume, and the single line of text per page is accompanied by a double-page illustration, each of a particular country. The vibrant and busy watercolors capture each land’s people, their way of life, the animals, and the geography.
Eleven countries are represented, and the book culminates with a portrayal of children from all these cultures, all together in one place, and all peaceful. Each illustration offers numerous subjects for discussion with children, to maximize their interest, make the most of their enthusiasm, and support the book’s message. Small maps of each country appear in the upper-right-hand corner of each page, so that a little geography lesson can be incorporated while reading the book.

The author holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in design from Columbus College of Arts; she has been an award-winning graphic designer for twenty-five years and now owns a design firm. The illustrator is her sister, who also graduated from Columbus; she has previously illustrated several children’s books, including Arctic Dreams and Firefly Night.

The smiles of the children on the final page, with their arms on each other’s shoulders and white doves about their heads, accompanied by the proposal, “Let’s live in peace,” sums up this little gem of a book. The world map at both ends of the volume is “based on the Dymaxion Map created in 1938 by R. Buckminster Fuller.” It depicts the Earth’s entire surface without visual distortions, revealing our planet as “one big island in one big ocean.”

Although it is perhaps a little too babyish for ten-year-olds, as recommended on the cover, this book provides a beautiful and positive introduction to the world and its people. A portion of the profits from We Share One World will go to the Children’s Global Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps homeless children around the world, taking another step towards peace.

Adrienne Petterson