When I read the poem, Peaceguy's Prayer by Don Morris that is posted on websites about World Peace Day I can't help but think about how powerful these lines from the beginning of the poem are.
May the people on this planet be changed
Changed from hatred to love,
Changed from greed to giving,
Changed from selfishness to selflessness,
Changed from apathy to action,
Changed from jealousy to joy over someone's accomplishments,
Changed from intolerance to acceptance,
Changed from being destructive to being constructive,
Changed from fighting to peace,
Changed from killing to protecting life,
Changed form censorship to freedom,
Changed from ignorance to education,
Changed from fearing our differences to rejoicing our variety.
Of course there are many picture books that you could choose to illustrate the ideas presented here, but immediately I thought of these. They may not be easy to buy, but search them out in the library because you will not be disappointed. Lessons planned with these and class discussions on these are always rewarding.
* Feathers and Fools by Mem Fox. This wonderful book about a fight among birds allows children to step back initially because the protagonists are not people, but they are quick to draw parallels after the story is finished. (Please note if you are in Australia this book may have a different illustrator. It has a blue cover.)
* Milo and the Mysterious Island by Marcus Pfister. This story is the sequel to Milo and the Magical Stones, but this time the cliff mice sail off on a raft to explore a tropical island. Here they meet a tribe of striped mice. Like its predecessor this book also has two endings offering two resolutions to the conflict between the mice.
* The Sea People by Jorg Muller and Jorg Steiner is a magnificent book. It is larger than most picture books, has amazingly detailed illustrations and deals with the meaty themes of greed and conflict and it is truly awe-inspiring.