The Day the Earth Was Silent

written by Michael McGuffee, illustrated by Edward Sullivan

A group of children creates a special flag and set out, against nearly insurmountable obstacles, to share it and its message of peace with the world.

A diverse classroom group of children made a flag; "showing the blue white marble of earth, traveling silently through the blackness of space." The children want to share their flag with all the earth but first the principal and then other leaders say, "Why try?"

"But we are saying why not try?"

Their request is moved to persons higher in authority until they are allowed to make the request of the President of the United States. He takes the issue to the United Nations whose delegates decide to raise the flag for all the people.

The flag served its purpose,
And the people knew.
So the children put the flag away,
And it eventually was forgotten.
But the healing silence was treasured forever.

The colorful illustrations effectively support the story. Particularly powerful are the 3 two-page spreads, nearly wordless, that show the flag and the people of the earth viewing it in peace and harmony. This is an excellent title to spark discussions about what each of us can do to promote global understanding.

The book is dedicated to Christa McAullife and evolved from work the author did in classrooms around Oklahoma while on a Christa McAullife Fellowship. My copy is signed by the author: To Pat - Peace be with you.