By: Shana Keller Illustrated by: Margeaux Lucas Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press Publication Date: April 15, 2022 ISBN: 978-1-534111387 Reviewed by: Katie Specht Review Date: July 7, 2022
From author Shana Keller comes a historical account of World War I for kids entitled The Peach Pit Parade: A World War I Story. The illustrations that accompany the story were created by artist Margeaux Lucas.
Polly is a young girl whose father joins the Army to fight for America during World War I. While he is away, Polly misses her father greatly and tries to understand why he had to leave. Polly learns about the war from her mother and her teachers at school, and each day she discovers something new about it. One day, her teacher explains that the soldiers need peach pits to put inside the filters of the gas masks that they need to wear to protect them from harmful chemicals sprayed by the enemy. Polly realizes that she wants to help the soldiers with this project.
Polly develops the idea of holding a peach pit parade, where everyone will be asked to bring peach pits to donate to the soldiers. With the help of her teacher, friends, neighbors and Scout troop, the event is arranged. The parade is an immense success, with Polly and her friends collecting barrels overflowing with peach pits. Polly feels a great deal of satisfaction and pride in knowing that she has truly helped her father and the soldiers overseas.
The Peach Pit Parade is a unique type of children’s book in that it is based on historical facts. Elementary age readers will enjoy learning about the history of World War I from the perspective of young Polly. Keller’s writing is easy for kids to understand, even when explaining something as challenging and confusing as a war. Parents and educators alike will appreciate that this book can be utilized as a learning tool when teaching students about American History. It is also especially helpful that the author included two pages at the end of the book explaining how the peach pits help the gas masks to work.
Lucas’s colorful, vibrant illustrations that accompany the text bring the story to life. A distinctive characteristic of this book is that the author and illustrator included real photographs from World War I. This reinforces the learning that will inevitably transpire upon reading this book.
Quill says: The Peach Pit Parade is truly a unique children’s book. The story tells the tale of a determined, helpful young girl who is living through one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Author and illustrator duo Keller and Lucas have achieved a literary success that kids, parents and educators alike will appreciate.
To learn more about The Peach Pit Parade, please visit the author’s website or the illustrator’s website.