Children from competing towns, along with Leo, lead the change in the tale and embrace kindness and friendships, rejecting the ill will that surrounds them. The picture book positions Leo as a moral compass for others, as his notions encourage compassion from characters and readers alike. Although Leo’s unannounced arrival is never explained, and the pacing is sometimes slowed by overlong paragraphs, Pere’s elaborate storytelling successfully makes a strong case for choosing to love over hate and portrays the strength in uniting for a cause.
The book’s flawed and magical world is gracefully upheld in the well-cultivated details of Alemanno’s amusing, lively illustrations. Pere’s message is strongly rooted in the idea of communities banding together to resolve a crisis and coexisting with renewed acceptance. Her whimsical representation of conflict educates young readers about sociopolitical conflicts in an age-appropriate way.
Takeaway: Young readers will immediately warm to this intricately illustrated, charming picture book about acceptance, kindness, and teamwork.
Great for fans of: Tricia Springstubb’s Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures, Michael Slack’s Bunny Built, Beth Ferry’s Swashby and the Sea.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Wickwick Ltd. from Finland has sold worldwide Arabic translation and publishing rights for three books to Al Hokama Publishing FZ LLC which is part of the Muslim Council of Elders, an NGO based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The stories are written by children’s author, Ph.D. in Law, Tuula Pere. The books Between the Walls and Lullaby of the Valley are illustrated by Andrea Alemanno, and Raspberry Red by Georgia Stylou. The demanding themes of War & Peace are presented with warmth, diplomacy, and tolerance to suit children and to encourage them.
Al Hokama Publishing, is a publishing house which belongs to the Muslim Council of Elders, an international NGO which focuses and promotes the values of tolerance, peace and coexistence through its initiatives and publications.
The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr Sultan Al Remeithi commented on the latest partnership by saying, “We are proud to forge this new and exclusive partnership with Wickwick for the translation and publishing of three children’s books into Arabic. We believe that the values of tolerance, coexistence and peace are all very important in our ultimate goal of world peace and that the material within these three books perfectly embody that. It is also imperative for us to spread these values into younger generations to help foster them into peace-loving fraternal citizens of the world in the future."
Wickwick is a Finnish publishing company specialized in children’s literature. The books reflect a warm and tolerant view of life, which offers a peaceful background for enjoying stories and discussing them, both for children and adults.
“I’m happy that my children’s books that emphasize the importance of peace, cooperation, and diplomacy of the heart can be a part of the quality publishing program by Al Hokama Publishing, which includes similar themes,” the author Dr Tuula Pere says. “I believe that through this unique cooperation, these important messages will be shared worldwide in Arabic translations. As responsible adults we all share the same goal; to make the world a better and safer place. The wisest decisions derive from the diplomacy of the heart”.