Let There Be Light: Poems and Prayers for Repairing the World

Compiled and Illustrated by Jane Breskin Zalben

Discussion and Activities

For pre-reading ideas and background information on multiculturalism, see Around the World in 80 Books: A Multicultural Guide.

Through poems and prayers from around the world, and inspirational quotes from some of our most revered personages, Jane Breskin Zalben demonstrates that the concept of healing the world is common to many religions. Ask children what prayers are familiar in their lives and how they serve in providing comfort. Read individual selections in conjunction with stories from the same religious or cultural backgrounds in this guide. Discuss and interpret what children perceive as the intended message or meanings of each, and how they may shed greater insight into characters and cultures presented in the stories read.

The multimedia collages paired with selections in this collection employ images, styles, materials, and patterns to reflect their cultures of origin. Enhance children's perception and appreciation of these artistic renderings by looking carefully and identifying visual elements used to evoke a people and a sentiment. Ask students to point to similar artistic elements employed in illustrations in other books in this guide.

Recent events of tragedy and terror have made today's children all too aware of the uncertainties and great conflict marking our times. Ask children to write and illustrate a prayer or poem expressing their own hopes for repairing the world. Have them share their written sentiments with classmates, family, and friends.


Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers Group.

The Penguin Group is the second-largest English-language trade book publisher in the world. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of best-selling authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. Penguin Young Readers Group features books by authors and illustrators including Judy Blume, Brian Jacques, Eric Carle, and beloved characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Madeline, The Little Engine that Could, and many, many more.

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