The Peace Box
Joseph Pintauro ~ Norman Laliberté ~ Harper & Row, 1970
Granted, The Peace Box is not really a children's book as evidenced by its subtle message of peace, free love and no war, but still... as you can clearly see from its much-loved cover, I can't think of a moment in my life when this little book wasn't in my room being looked at and poured over by my sisters and me (see picture in banner). According to the inscription inside, it was a birthday gift from my aunt to my father circa 1973. I remember at some point having the whole series, but where those books are now, who the hell knows. There were originally four titles (The Rabbit Box, A Box of Sun, The Magic Box), each constituting a season of the year.
When I was little, these pages were an inside look at an adult world that seem totally appealing to a child. The color and the sentiment... each image seeming at the time to be so important and full of mystery, like I was only understanding half of what I saw and read. Even today, I have a hard time browsing the pages without getting tears in my eyes, so evocative of my youth to me and such a poignant message. I read the words to my son because even though he is only three, he will inherit the world and I know if he truly understands the meaning of the word peace, perhaps he and his peers will make some of it someday.All I ever wanted was not to live forever just time enough in my life to see clear blue water running out the tap & all I ever wanted of space to hang beautiful things made by hands of the lovers of the universe against walls & from ceilings & a girl with a baby inside making paella with clams and a giant tree in a giant pot near a giant window feasting on quiet light & quiet music made there & then by friends with intelligent eyes... figs and bananas & watermelons to touch & eat and wine to make us laugh while peace flows like tides & winds around the world.
That and the design is still pretty rockin'. Gotta love those 70s, man.