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21st September, 2017

Review: the Imagine children's book

Jean Jullien’s book “Imagine” is a deceptively simple yet very moving children’s book. The book takes the lyrics of John Lennon’s famous song and fashions a tale about a peace-loving little pigeon who flies around the world spreading his peaceful message.

Like Lennon’s song, the power of the book derives from its simplicity. In one of Jullien’s beautiful illustrations, the pigeon is shown breaking up squabbles amongst other birds, who are fighting over religion. The way this is achieved is quite sophisticated: our pigeon hero drops an olive branch – a traditional symbol of peace that dates back to Greek, Roman and Christian culture. It is as if the pigeon is reminding his feathered friends that the central role of any religion is to bring peace, not division.

 

 

There is also a very powerful, quietly moving scene towards the end of the book when our pigeon hero gets tired flying around the world spreading his message of peace. Inspired by his actions, the other birds take up the pigeon’s cause while he rests – a beautiful illustration of one good deed inspiring another.

This is a lovely book, with a nameless, lovable hero (I can imagine many children would delight in giving the pigeon a name) – perfect for that bedtime read. As Yoko Ono writes in her foreword, “Today, we need peace more than ever, so I think his [John Lennon’s] words are still very important.” How very true...

John Lennon – Imagine, Illustrated by Jean Jullien. Published by Francis Lincoln Children’s Books. Royalties from the sales of this book will go to Amnesty International. Available to purchase from The Beatles Story's Fab4 Store or online at:

imaginepeacebook.com

Nick Hale

Nick is a member of the Discovery Zone team here at The Beatles Story and is responsible for providing educational support to visiting school groups.

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