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Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem Hardcover – December 1, 2005


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Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem + The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou + I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400065585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400065585
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up–This poem was largely inspired by the terrible natural disasters occurring throughout the world when Angelou was invited to read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony. Thus, the opening lines rumble and roil almost menacingly to illustrate the climate of doubt and anxiety into which the spirit of Christmas arrives. Hope enters as a whisper and grows until it is louder than the explosion of bombs. The harsher aspects of the world fade as people of all faiths and races join together in trust and brotherhood. Johnson and Fancher's paintings, rendered in oil, acrylic, and fabric on canvas, elegantly depict a calm, snow-blanketed village where children play, families shop, and artisans ply their crafts. People gather at the Town Hall for sweets and cocoa, and then, in a candlelight procession, join again to sing beneath the stars. This is a comforting book that gets to the heart of what Christmas should mean. As an added treat, Angelou reads the poem on the accompanying CD.–Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Originally read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony and published as a Christmas book for adults, Angelou’s stirring poem is presented alongside convivial winter scenes in a picture book intended for young readers, but whose message and splendid artwork will appeal to all ages. Angelou celebrates the spirit of the season—a time to learn to look beyond complexion and see community—with a resonating call for hope, unity, and, above all, peace. Johnson and Fancher’s richly textured acrylic, oil, and fabric collage illustrations reflect the sentiments of the poem while also telling their own story, as a family makes their way through a snowy small town to join their multicultural community in a celebration at the town hall. From the strings of Christmas lights on buildings ingeniously constructed from textured fabric to the glorious washes of candlelight on the carolers’ faces, the timeless, heartwarming scenes dazzle the eye with their incandescence. An accompanying CD of Angelou’s reading the poem completes the package. Grades K-5. --Kristen McKulski --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Maya Angelou has been waitress, singer, actress, dancer, activist, filmmaker, writer and mother. As well as her autobiography she has written several volumes of poetry, including 'On the Pulse of the Morning' for the inauguration of President Clinton. She now has a life-time appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

The words and pictures create a beautiful message of peace and equality.
R. Garrido
I have given this little book as a Christmas present for the past several years with the request that the recipients read it and pass the gift on to someone else.
L. Allen
This poem is one of Maya Angelou's best writings...and thats saying something!
Jonathan Scarsella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Scarsella on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This poem is one of Maya Angelou's best writings...and thats saying something!

This a is very moving and powerful poem. There will surely be many coppies of this poem, wrapped up under my family's christmas tree this year.

I recomend this work to any Angelou fan and also to anyone who is a fan of peace and generosity, of faith or of freedom...This is a true gem in a sea of rocks...timeless and splendid.

This is one writer who proves that she still has the power to move the people.

If I could give this book 50 stars, I wouldn't hesitate for a second.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matt B. on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book - of only one poem - holds a special place in my heart. To be such a minute writing, I find its meaning to be mighty.

This Christmas I will be 18, and as my younger sister and I decided we didnt want gifts from Santa any more, because we could see the problems it put on our parents and the family as a whole. It saddens me to think about this, but even more due to the fact it wasnt paying for gifts that created a burden; I am very fortunate, and my family has enough money to get most anything we would like throughout the year. The burden felt in my family was what to buy. After discussing how I felt about the holidays with my sister, we decided it would be benefecial to the entire family to only request things the whole family could enjoy.

I bought this book for the family to mark in history both the last gift, and again the first gift to the family. This Christmas has been, byfar, the best Christmas ever. Maya Angelou became the inspiration we needed to realize what the holidays are really about, togetherness.

I would recommend this poem to anyone; but especially to families out there who feel like holidays in their home are not what they are really supposed to be.

In case you are curious, I ask Santa for a new refrigerator, and my sister ask for a new dining table. I cant wait for Christmas morning!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hank Dickenson on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book. It is beautifully written in the Maya Angelou format. It encompasses the true spirit of Christmas through the themes of war, peace and spiritual unity.

I purchased it for my son who is almost 8 years-old, but I feel this book is best suited for an older child who has a deeper undersatnding of poetic language and can better understand these themes.

A warm read for adults- expressing an all inclusive approach toward mankind and religion.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin W. Eldred on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Angelou is certainly one of our national, no, global treasures. In this brief but poignant piece, she captures the simplicity of Christmas that overwhelms our human attempts to outshine its basic message with fluff and materialism. Unabashedly Christian in her message, she never stoops to sectarianism but celebrates the gift of love for all people; an inclusivity that gathers together, not separates, races and cultures, nationalities and even religions into one powerful embrace. Given that, this is not the typical "P.C." pabulum that one so often hears about how we should just all get along, but a marvelous prophetic vision of God's plan for humanity.

I would highly recommend this book for just about anyone you longs to hear a word of hope and healing in the midst of a sometimes dark and troubled world.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Chapin on December 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After already being impressed with Dr. Maya Angelou having seen her at two conferences speaking, I was again brought to tears by her compassionate and loving pages found in "Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem" for its its profound message of peace. A peace that we need to find internally and then share with others. This doesn't have to be just a Christmas message, but a message that resounds all year long.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Regis Schilken on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Maya Angelou's Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem is an inspirational holiday tale worded more for adults than children. It is especially moving during these troubling days of hardship, terror, and war. This reviewer found it easier to summarize the poem's mystical theme as it affected him.

In the stillness of a winter night when darkness covers earth at an early hour, we dress warmly to walk with our children to a community gathering in a nearby market square. A fresh snow falls over that which crunches under each footstep. We look about. See! Back there behind us, a man plays his sax--peaceful, quiet Christmas carols; and over there, children enjoy the moment as they finish their snowman then join with their parents to enter our quiet procession.

As we pass by homes, brightly lit decorations inside and outside display, for all to see, the wish residents hold in their hearts. It is a hope that for this one night at least, amazing peace can reign here and throughout the world. And when we reach town hall, we meet our beloved friends. Our flickering candle flames light our faces: the old, the young; dark skin, light skin. We have come to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and his message of peace for our world. We eat together; we sing together; we talk together. Our hearts want this joyous covenant of peace to last forever.

We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian, implore you to stay a while with us ... we, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.

I would recommend
...Read more ›
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