NONFICTION

What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows?: True Stories of Imagination and Courage

Owlkids. Mar. 2020. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771473620.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3-6–Each two-page spread of this slim volume starts with a question in the same vein as the book’s title, followed by a brief story about a contemporary or historical figure who resisted the violence in their society and made a positive impact. Accompanying these narratives are loose line drawings (reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s style) punctuated with shapes and patterns in light shades of red, green, and brown. The stories feature brave people from many different places across the globe, and both the book’s introduction and conclusion encourage readers to ask questions and use their imagination to make the world a better place. These thought-provoking anecdotes have the potential to inspire conversation and further reading for elementary and middle grade students; however, the picture book format, along with questions that seem a bit silly at first glance, could make it challenging to attract readers of the target age range. Back matter includes a glossary, endnotes that cite quotations, and a “Selected Sources” section.
VERDICT While it is admirable to encourage children to think creatively in order to solve conflicts without violence, this book will likely have a limited audience.

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