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Amazing Peace

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  54 reviews
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 child ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 1995)
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This is a special edition of Maya Angelou's poem, which she wrote to celebrate Christmas. The poem Amazing Peace was read by Maya Angelou at the lighting of the National Christmas tree near the White House, in Washington D.C. in 2005. It is printed here, divided into a picture book, suitable for family reading. The illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are unusual; oil on canvas, rather than the standard illustrative technique for children's books of watercolour. The result is a rough t ...more
Gloria Copeland
Poetry review
ELM 572

In Maya Angelou, “Amazing Peace ”, I enjoyed the Christmas poem about the community coming together for one common purpose the Birth of Jesus “Peace”. The setting for this poem is in a small town or community in the coldest of winter filled with snow.
The residents questions God about the covenant (promise to take care of them) he made since it snowed on top of snow with no relief from the cold. Then comes the Christmas season shining a new light on life for forgiven
Tom Bochnak
I read this book digitally via CPL's Overdrive.

This book is definitely meant to be a read aloud. I doubt young readers will know what "jubilate the precious advent of trust" means. This will be the biggest stumbling block for young readers. The images are well drawn, but I don't think that they aid readers either, which is important when text is complex. Students will use the pictures to aid in their understanding of words or actions.

The poem itself is of course a great piece. It's Maya Angelo
Elevate Difference
Amazing Peace is visually amazing and beautiful as the colors are muted but still vibrant. The gold lettering in the title stands out and adds a touch of style. This book was a true collaboration between Maya Angelou and illustrators Steve Johnston and Lou Fancher. The poetry and pictures meld together, and the words touch your heart. The pictures are textured, which adds to their magic. This is truly a book to bring people together to forget our petty differences.

This book is a call for peace—n
Well, of course it was beautiful, and I really love Maya Angelou's... everything. But I don't love the illustrations, and honestly, even the content of the poem was a stretch for me. It reminds me of these memes I've been seeing, and while I can appreciate the intent of the memes, they are essentially victim-blaming. The problem isn't that non-Christians are offended by being wished a merry Christmas; it's that Christians don't respect the fact that not everyone is Christian. Non-Christians woul ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip aka "The Genius" for Kids @

Maya Angelou, world-renowned poet, philanthropist, and humanitarian, brings to vivid life the true meaning of Christmas. Her poems are not the simple rhyming ones of many children's books, but rather a meshing of words that go straight to the heart.

"Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you to stay awhile with us
So we may learn by your shimme
With the Christmas season swiftly approaching, this picture book with a poem written by Maya Angelou for the 2005 White House treelighting ceremony beautifully prepares our hearts for this season of hope & peace. The book comes with a CD that you can listen to Angelou read the poem as you enjoy the illustrations so well done by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Angelou writes "Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singin ...more
This is a lovely poem about peace. I could hear her voice in my head reading. Reading this made me want to read more by her so I picked up I know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I saw it on the shelf. I guess my "TBR" pile is getting bigger."

I also found a video of her talking about this poem on the Today show. She talked about us having and bringing inner peace with us and gave the example of staying peaceful even in traffic. It totally reminded me of this quote, "Why choose to be angry? It won't
"In our Joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is peace."

Amazing Peace is the perfect way for a family to start its holiday season. In her sparse but beautiful prose, Ms. Angelou reminds us of what is really important this season. It's not the flashing lights, brightly colored packages, or even the stress. It is very simply, that "We look at each other, then into ourselves. and we say w
A great poem and wonderful illustrations. Right underneath the part where it says that it was read at the lighting of the national Christmas tree, in DC, it said that it was printed in China. How messed up is that???
Beautiful, a treasure to read throughout the year. Read this out loud with your family and friends. The illustrations are lovely.
a thought provoking and eloquent poem about peace between all people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Sue Berg
i think i should have enjoyed the poem more than i did but the paintings in the book were gorgeous ...
A poem that speaks of Christmas and faith and that peace that comes from believing in Christmas.
Scott Weatherby
Read this in the library in one sitting... I might get this to reread every christmas....
A lovely Christmas poem, and nice illustrations.
Beautifully written. Simple and timely.
Amazing! Powerful! Beautifully rich! "In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs."
This book is based on a poem performed by Angelou at the 2005 White House tree lighting ceremony. The painting by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are truly amazing. One line of the poem especially captured me: "It is what we have hungered for. Not just the absence of war. But true Peace."
That is truly what the greatest world hunger today is.
Beautifully illustrated version of a poem that Maya Angelou delivered at the White House in 2005. There is a CD included with naration by the author. Maya Angelou is incredibly talented and is able to paint a picture of peace through words. LOVE IT
Gina Gifford
I hate to admit that I am not much of a poetry reader. Sadly I don't always understand it. People who love poetry are usually portrayed as deep and intelligent... (*Sigh*) But Amazing Peace was simple and lovely. Merry Christmas!
Courtney Burns
Gorgeous. Lovely. Inspiring. It takes just a few minutes to read--you can find it online to read but make sure you find a version that gives you the entire poem which begins: "Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes."
Christine Turner
Angelou's poem celebrates 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.
I love this poem, especially when she reads it aloud (a cd is included). The paintings in this edition are beautiful. I loved the combination of the brushstrokes with the textures and patterns of the fabric.
Christine Turner
"Amazing Peace, "was published as a Christmas book for adults. The book is available with a Cd and is read by the author. I enoyed the poem, but I am not fond of the illustrations of this book.
 Barb Bailey
I have read this in both the adult publication and the childrens publication. I loved the poem . But I would suggest this poem for older children , The childrens book is beautifully illustrated.
So very beautiful, so simple, so clear... Maya is a poet for people that say they don't like poetry, because it is so much more. Truths that should resonate in even the hardest heart.
Beautiful poem, lovingly written and gorgeous illustrations that include winter details, of some celebrating Christmas, but others celebrating community.
I check this book out of the public library because I can get the edition where she reads the poem herself. Her voice, like her writing is rich and melodic.
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969 which was n ...more
More about Maya Angelou...
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings The Heart of a Woman  Letter to My Daughter Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now The Complete Collected Poems

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