Cat Stevens, Author
Peter H. Reynolds, Illustrator
Harper Collins, Fiction, May 11, 2021
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Train, Peace, Harmony, Lyrics, Cat Stevens
Opening: “Now, I’ve been happy lately, / thinking about the good things to come, / and I believe it could be / something good has begun.”
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Everyone jump up on the Peace Train!
Join friends from around the world as they board a train heading straight for peace.
Featuring the inspiring lyrics of Cat Steven’s beloved anthem and New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’s heartwarming interpretation, this moving and joyous book invites us all to sing out for peace.
Fans old and new can now enjoy, share, sing and read aloud the lyrics to “Peace Train’ in picture book format for the first time.
What’s to love about this book:
This inspirational collaboration between Cat Stevens and Peter H. Reynolds will introduce new generations to the song writer’s lyrics. It is so uplifting that it will encourage children to want to join the cause of cultivating peace in the world.
Reynolds’s vibrant illustrations show a boy with guitar in hand on his way to board the Peace Train, which is packed with a diverse group of children singing, playing musical instruments, and swaying to the music. “Now, I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is. / Why must we go on hating? / Why can’t we live in bliss?”
Timely topic and a perfect moment in our history to talk about peace, love, kindness, cooperation and compassion. When the lyrics were written and performed by Stevens in the 1970s, we were focused on the importance of our global family. Today it is crucial to teach our children and grandchildren that peace begins in our relationships with ourselves, families, communities, nation and world. This is a perfect book for teachers to use in classrooms and for reading and discussing at home.
Make sure you read Cat Steven’s “Author’s Note” at the end. Inspiring!
Resources: Introduce your children to the song before you read the book. Sing it loudly. It has such a fun beat that kids will love singing it repeatedly. Encourage them to draw their own peace train or a picture of what peace means to them. Get children involved in solving local hunger and clothing issues. Visit Steven’s charitable website for ways to help.
Cat Stevens is one of the most influential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriters of all time. He is known worldwide for his hits “Peace Train,” “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out,” “Wild World,” “Father and Son,” “The First Cut, is the Deepest,” and many more. He is a recipient of the World Social Award and the Man of Peace award. In 2020, he launched the Peacetrain initiative, which delivers relief, medical aid and education globally.
Peter H. Reynolds is the author and illustrator of many books for children, parents, and educators alike, including The Dot, Ish, and the New York Times bestseller The Word Collector. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, where he owns a bookshop, the Blue Bunny. Learn more about Reynolds at his website.