Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poemby Maya Angelou, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
Celebrate Christmas with the joyous poetry of the incomparable Maya Angelou. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.” Angelou’s moving poem is a radiant affirmation of the goodness of humanity. First read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony, it comes alive again as a fully illustrated children’s book, celebrating the promise of peace in the holiday season. In this simple story, a family joins with their community—rich and poor, black and white, Muslim and Jew—to celebrate the holidays. This special package includes an audio CD of the author reading the poem aloud.
Gr 3 Up
This poem was largely inspired by the terrible natural disasters occurring throughout the world when Angelou was invited to read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony. Thus, the opening lines rumble and roil almost menacingly to illustrate the climate of doubt and anxiety into which the spirit of Christmas arrives. Hope enters as a whisper and grows until it is "louder than the explosion of bombs." The harsher aspects of the world fade as people of all faiths and races join together in trust and brotherhood. Johnson and Fancher's paintings, rendered in oil, acrylic, and fabric on canvas, elegantly depict a calm, snow-blanketed village where children play, families shop, and artisans ply their crafts. People gather at the Town Hall for sweets and cocoa, and then, in a candlelight procession, join again to sing beneath the stars. This is a comforting book that gets to the heart of what Christmas should mean. As an added treat, Angelou reads the poem on the accompanying CD.-Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Meet the Author
Maya Angelou is a poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, which began with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she has also written five poetry collections, a cookbook, and the celebrated poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she read at the inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton. She lives in North Carolina.
Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have collaborated on many award-winning and New York Times bestselling picture books, including My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, New York’s Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, The Cheese by Margie Palatini, The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull, and Star Climbing.
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Date of Birth:
- April 4, 1928
- Place of Birth:
- St. Louis, Missouri
- High school in Atlanta and San Francisco
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