Inspired by a school mural of peacemakers, atist and poet Fereidun Shokatfard published the book “Colors of Love and Peace” with artwork and hopeful messages to children receiving treatment in hospitals. With the help of Shokatfard, the students of 186th Elementary in Gardena created an art-filled book promoting harmony, peace, and respect. In a cover image, the students are gathered around a photograph of the Dalai Lama, who is the Nobel Peace Prize winner and spiritual leader of Tibet.
Shokatfard sent an outline of the book’s artwork to the Dalai Lama, who heads Tibet’s government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India in hopes of the Dalai Lama writing a foreword. To the surprise of the artist and students, the Dalai Lama wrote a forward endorsing the book.
“I am impressed by this gathering together of their colorful paintings and messages to encourage children receiving treatment in hospital,” he wrote. “It’s a bright, cheerful and practical expression of concern for others. What better example for all of us could there be?”
According to school principal Marcia Sidney-Reed, about 5,000 copies of the book have been printed. Half of the copies will be donated to children’s hospitals; the other half will be sold with most of the proceeds from the sales going to charity. The book comes with a CD of songs from the International Children’s Choir of Long Beach.