by Colin Thompson illustrated by Penelope Gamble (Hodder Children's Books Australia 2002)
peace with ourselves-peace with each other
recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library
Clowns have forever been the circus' colourful characters who bring joy and happiness to audiences even if a word is not spoken by them. Their antics alone can bring about great laughter and relief from the seriousness of our worlds. This sensitive and heart warming story about an old clown is for all ages to enjoy and share together and it contains many peace-building elements:
We are immediately introduced to Zippo the Clown as the story begins. He delights crowds and laughter is heard everywhere. But Zippo has a more important role in the circus. He must take care of the circus children. A touch of sadness enters the story as the ageing clown must deal with tragedy. The story, though, is intrinsically one of hope.
So how does the story end???
......happily with everyone winning especially Zippo
...and tragedy is transformed as Zippo's love miraculously heals a child's wounded heart and spirit.
The happy ending in this story evolves from tragedy........but also there are many other essential peace-building elements inherent in this beautiful story.
Zippo teaches that no what happens we can seek positive outcomes.
There is always hope....and all will be well.
Critical questions to explore with children
Creative questions to explore with children
© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation February 2005