Picture Books for Peace and Humanity
May 8 – September 15, 2019
The Mariposa’s newest exhibit – “Hello, Dear Enemy! Picture Books for Peace and Humanity” – is now open! The collection of 65 picture books and more than 40 posters with illustrations and quotes, curated by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, explores children’s books from around the world in which characters grapple with the traumas of war, displacement, prejudice, and other forms of oppression.
The installation at the Mariposa includes child-sized constructed scenes drawn directly from some of the featured books (a wooden boat at sea, a working seesaw, a pitched tent, a hidden school classroom, and more), wall paintings based on some of the stories, characters, animal puppets, and other relevant pieces from the Mariposa’s permanent collections. The scenes, which children are welcome to step into and play in, create an imaginative, immersive, and memorable experience for museum visitors of all ages.
“‘Hello, Dear Enemy!’ explores how authors and illustrators of children’s books create avenues for children and adults alike to acknowledge tensions in the world, acquire tools for understanding cultural differences, and build bridges of friendship and understanding across those differences,” said Mariposa Executive Director Karla Hostetler. “We’re excited to build programs around this exhibit to further explore how artists use their creative work to deepen their own understandings of others and to invite their audiences to do the same.”
In its description of “Hello, Dear Enemy!”, the International Youth Library (IYL) writes, “Children are confronted by war, enmity, exclusion and traumatic escape in many ways: some as those suffering directly from such experiences, and others as those not directly affected but wanting to ask about them. Picture books that take up these themes in literary and artistic ways cannot answer all questions, but they can provoke thought and inspire discussion.”
The IYL’s introduction to the exhibit concludes: “Many of these books conclude by pointing out paths to a better future, when dividing walls are toppled, enmities overcome and wars have given way to peace. Openness, curiosity and empathy – the message of many of the books – form important foundations for cultures and peoples living together in peaceful, humane ways.”
“Hello, Dear Enemy!” is on exhibit at the Mariposa, located at 26 Main Street in Peterborough, from May 8 to September 15. Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 for children (ages 3-16). Members free.