The First Day of Peace

The First Day of Peace
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
August 08, 2023
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In a new picture book presented by the Peace Studio and its cofounder Maya Soetoro-Ng, author Todd Shuster and illustrator Tatiana Gardel offer a moving modern parable highlighting the wondrous power of kindness and sharing.

Season after season, the mountain people give life to their crops with water from the river, while the valley people use water from a nearby lake to nourish their fields. Despite their similarities, neither allows the other to seek water on their land—instead, they exchange harsh words, and when drought descends, they come to blows. But when the hottest summer yet brings torrential downpours, the waters overflow and trap the valley people. A wise mountain girl sees their plight and says, “We need to help.”

Featuring an afterword by Maya Soetoro-Ng, The First Day of Peace is a fable for a time when many parents and children are deeply worried about our warming planet. At once timeless and timely, it sheds light on the importance of protecting the environment and of sharing rather than fighting over the earth’s precious natural resources. Todd Shuster’s lyrical writing is brought to vivid life by Tatiana Gardel’s rich and luminous illustrations in a story for everyone who hopes for love, justice, and peace across all mountains and valleys.

Editor review

1 review
A little bit of kindness can go a long way
Overall rating
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I really enjoyed reading this book with my child.
The First Day of Peace is a wonderfully illustrated story about two different groups of people and how then fought, then eventually found peace.

The illustrations by Gardel are amazingly bright and vivid, drawing you into this world.

This is an essential read for instilling the virtues of unity, kindness, and environmental stewardship in the future generations. The lyrical story is imbued with empathy, and shows children what fear and hatred can destroy, but also what the power of friendship can accomplish.
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