Peace, Bugs, and Understanding by Gail Silver and Youme Nguyen Ly

peace bugs and understanding

I have to admit a religious bias here (words that I can barely imagine ever writing) but I heard a very liberal minister give a series of sermons a few years ago about just this Buddhist strategy for learning how to forgive and let go of resentments. Lily and Ruby’s sibling hostility is not all that unusual, but to Lily they are gigantic. It’s hard for us oldies to remember perhaps how much we wanted our siblings to “just disappear,” but I’ll bet many of us did.

Lily’s resentments are interrupted by her father’s passing on of his father’s journal from the early twentieth century. In it her ancestor explains how he came face-to-face with the incarnation of his anger, and how he learned to modify it through a simple meditation. It was very near a mediation I heard from the Unitarian minister in Texas (of all places), a prayer directed at the object of one’s anger: “May you be safe. May you be strong. May you live with peace.” I had forgotten this simple incantation until I read Peace, Bugs, and Understanding. It’s light didacticism, but there’s little to fear about a book that encourages children to acknowledge and manage their own anger.

The watercolor illustrations by Youme Nguyen Lyare are light and soothing and remind me of spring.The book is aimed at pre-readers through third graders, though I suspect the younger end of the spectrum will appreciate it more. There’s nothing so funny about Peace, Bugs, and Understanding, but it’s worth making part of the bedtime-story rotation.

Peace, Bugs, and Understanding (48 pages) is published by Plum Blossom Books.


1 comment for “Peace, Bugs, and Understanding by Gail Silver and Youme Nguyen Ly

  1. April 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Quite a unique book, it seems to me… I do remember the hostility mentioned here, as my sister is six years younger. Needless to say, I was not happy when she encroached on what used to be my territory alone 😀 Those emotions can run so raw at that age…

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