Tag Archives: Books

Say your piece, or peace

Peace by Chocolate advertisement
An advertisement for Peace by Chocolate, a shop that donates 3-5% of all company profits to the Peace On Earth Society 

My book club met yesterday. We had a discussion that went something like this:

HOST: If you were to write, “Say your (piece)(peace), how you you spell it?

BOOK CLUB MEMBER #1: I would write p-i-e-c-e.

BOOK CLUB MEMBER #2: I would say that it’s p-e-a-c-e, because after you’ve spoken, you feel at peace.

BOOK CLUB MEMBER #3: I think it’s p-i-e-c-e.

BOOK CLUB MEMBER #4 (that would be me) : I think it’s p-i-e-c-e because you are contributing your “piece” to an interaction.

HOST: I always spelled it p-e-a-c-e. It’s saying your peace. Speaking what is in your heart so you can rest easily.

2 out of 5 book club members had a peaceful take on the expression.

And you know what? I like both. After all, the play on words works for the Peace by Chocolate company in Antigonish, NS.

I feel better now that I’ve said my peace. I think I’ll have a peace of chocolate.


Our book club was discussing The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, a book that left some of us feeling less than peaceful. We all loved the title though.

3 important answers

Book cover for Jon J. Muth's The Three Questions

It’s time once again to remember The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth.

Muth took a short story written by Leo Tolstoy and reworked it with animal characters to appeal to children. In the book, a boy named Nikolai goes on a journey to seek answers to three BIG LIFE questions:

  1. “When is the best time to do things?”
  2. “Who is the most important one?”
  3. “What is the right thing to do?”

His steps lead him to encounters with a heron, a monkey and a dog. Each of these characters answers the questions in way that reflects personal biases. The heron suggests the best time to do things is after everything has been planned in advance. The dog believes the most important one is the one who makes the rules, and the monkey knows the right thing to do is to have fun all the time.

Not satisfied, Nikolai climbs a high mountain to seek the answers to his questions from a wise old turtle.

When he reaches the top of the mountain, he finds the wise, old turtle digging a garden. Wanting his full attention and knowing that a young boy digs much faster than an old turtle, Nikolai takes the shovel and finishes turning over the hard soil.

When he is leaning on his shovel after the last shovel full of dirt, he hears a cry for help coming to him out of the windblown forest. He follows the sound and finds a panda knocked out by a fallen tree. Nikolai rescues her and takes her to the turtle’s house to get warm.

When the panda wakes up, she asks, “Where is my child?” Alarmed, Nikolai runs back to the forest where he finds the baby panda, shivering and alone.

Before Nikolai departs, he and the wise old turtle reflect on the answers the boy has found.

  1. “There is only one important time, and that time is now.”
  2. “The most important one is always the one you are with.”
  3. “The most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side.”

Tolstoy sure was one wise old turtle.

You have a superpower

Oh yes you do.

The youth leader at our church introduced me to the book What’s My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston. Within that book lies the answer.

The main character, Nalvana thinks that everyone but her has a superpower. She has friends who run fast, build with super strength and dangle from monkey bars for hours.

Every day she watches her friends and wishes she could do what they do. She tells them how great they are.

Nalvana is feeling badly until her mother helps her to recognize her own superpower. It’s a power we all have, if we choose to see it.

Nalvana makes people feel good.

Book cover: What's My Superpower, by Aviaq Johnston

Bam! Gratitude lessons from a child

It is Thanksgiving in Canada today, so I thought I would re-share one of my favourite posts from my previous blog site. I’ll be back with a new post tomorrow.

The child in this story has grown up and no longer gives me my Monday smile, but I’ll remember him forever.


Monday evening is the regular library time for a father and a small boy. Those two are the highlight of my week.

At the time of their visit, I work in the room that houses the book-drop. The murmur of their voices and the scraping sound of a step-stool being pulled into position comes to me through the slot. The child’s feet climb up one step on the stool and  another as he prepares for his book return ritual.

“Thank you, book. Good-bye,” he says to the first book. He pushes it through the slot. “Bam!” he shouts.

He performs this small ceremony for every book. He returns 10 to 15 books, on average, so his process takes some time. If there are people waiting behind him, he doesn’t adjust his pace; he savours his moment.

I stop whatever I’m doing and savour his moment too. I smile widely.

This child shows me:

  1. He respects and cherishes books.
  2. He expresses gratitude.
  3. He knows how to “be here now.”
  4. He celebrates each moment with a Bam!

Some lessons for all of us, from a child.

Bam!

I’m grateful for these two wonderful children’s books.