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On Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages

Until now, I've never found a coloring book that is as fun, meaningful, and helpful as Painting for Peace. The images and quotes in this book - as well as the back story - speak to you from a place of desperation and peace, and it truly feels GOOD to color the images to bring them to life.

JJ Colorz Art


“Painting for Peace, a coloring book for all ages”, is a unique coloring book. Read more from this 5 star review on Goodreads



On Painting for Peace in Ferguson

"Painting for Peace in Ferguson' is the stunning result of a native artist's compassionate response to the boarded up storefronts of Ferguson that resulted from the violence and racism of 2014. 'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' shows the amazing results that stem from members of a community, black and white, coming together to create a new, vibrant, healing vision expressed through art, painted on the blank storefronts. A citywide Paint for Peace effort left all the blank storefronts transformed into dazzling, inspiring works of art with messages of peace, love, and racial harmony. The narrative poetry text of 'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' explains the central message: Empowerment, or, out of chaos and fear comes joy, love and transformation, a community determined to rebirth itself with healing love for differences at the core. The rainbow and black and white art works are amazing, overwhelming, full of hope. 'We must each do our part,' no matter how small. Funds from the sale of 'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' will go to the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, to benefit North County area youth and art programs and business and employees affected by damage and loss of business."

Children's Bookwatch, The Art Shelf

Midwest Book Review


"Talking to children, especially young kids, about the events in Ferguson can be a challenge. The new “Painting for Peace in Ferguson” can help start a conversation." 

Jody Mitori

Assistant Managing Editor, Features

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

"Painting for Peace in Ferguson," a colorful storybook, written by Ferguson-born author Carol Swartout Klein, tells the true story of the hundreds of artists and citizens who came together in the face of violence and darkness to create beautiful images of hope and peace. Klein was moved by the number of individuals who spent their holiday weekend giving back to the community, spreading images of hope and healing in the worst of times."

Priscilla Frank
The Huffington Post

"Painting for Peace in Ferguson is a picture book like no other and belongs on the collective landscape for years to come as a reminder that communities need not implode in anger and grief."

Kid Lit Reviews


"Please have a look inside the pages of this gorgeous book to the hope that was created in November 2014. Not only is this an incredible testament to courage and hope but a tool for both adults and children alike to start THE conversation we all need to have about race, community, and racial equity that has been felt in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, Chicago, NYC, and many other towns and cities across the nation. Wherever we live, no matter the demographics of our communities, we need to have this conversation and I’m thankful that Carol Swartout Klein has written such an incredible tool to help us begin in such a beautiful and creative way."

Jump Into a Book


"The author, Carol Swartout Klein,  has gifted us not just with eye-delighting artwork from the boarded up windows in post-riot Ferguson, and not just with moving photographs of volunteers working to substitute art for wreckage, and not just with messages of peace from inspiring sources, but also with hope, with inspiration, and with appreciation for the power of a community that works together to heal."

Engaging Peace


“I actually cried when I first opened the book! Such a creative and uplifting vision of hope for a town that has been through so much violence and trauma. We are so happy to share this book with our community and hope it helps to foster love, understanding and change for a better, more diverse and creative world!”

Michelle Barron
The Book House, Maplewood, MO

"A great book to show children how a community rallied to make a positive change and that even a small gesture can make a huge difference. A great discussion opener on how we should treat each other."

Provo Library


"The book carries messages of hope and peace and the power of a caring community. It would be a terrific resource in a unit on peace or advocacy or community. And not surprisingly, it has been chosen to represent Missouri at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in September."

Carol's Corner


"What I like most about this book is the simple, yet powerful message that reminds us we all have something we can do to help.  Everyone is equipped with a different set of skills…we all have our own “paint brush”.  In good times and in bad, people of all races, ages and genders can come together to make a difference.  This message is expressed in a language that many toddlers and preschoolers can understand. Another thing I liked about the book is that it doesn’t go into the specifics of what caused the unrest in Ferguson, but rather focuses on the way the community came together to begin the healing process through the art of the Paint for Peace initiative."

Here Wee Read


"What I loved about this book: The pictures are amazing: Vibrant, colorful and the images of people painting messages of hope was very touching. The creativity of artists, young and old, was mind-blowing. One of the many paintings with inspirational saying that caught my eye was this one; 'Think of all of the beauty still left around you and be happy.'"

Becky Flansburg
Mom Squad Central


"It is wonderful to see Klein – who grew up in Ferguson – along with many Ferguson residents helping to heal the unrest in our beloved community."

StoryWeb: Storytime for Grownups


"As parents trying to explain any of it to our children — so many of us don’t even have the words. This is where the children’s book 'Painting for Peace in Ferguson' can help. Written by Carol Swartout Klein, who grew up in Ferguson, the colorful book tells the true story of locals — artists, volunteers, citizens — coming together to rebuild their community, using a paintbrush. Since its publication back in February, the book has sold nearly 2,000 copies and won an IPPY (Independent Publisher’s award) this year, the Outstanding Book of the Year Award Gold Medal. And we can totally see why."

Cool Mom Picks


"I love this book! This book will do a lot to nurture the children in our community who were scared by the breaking windows and unrest. I plan to read this book to the 4-year olds I volunteer with each week. It's a great way to start a healthy conversation with children of all ages that have questions about what happened in Ferguson and in the south city."
Dwayne Ingram
Patient Advocacy Coordinator, BJC Health
Board Member, I Love Ferguson


"In a time of explosive racial hostility and violence, Carol Swartout Klein has captured a healing moment that reminds us of what is possible when we confront the socially constructed barriers that separate us and work together as a community to express and celebrate our shared humanness. Using a multi-textured array of colorful rhymes and images, this book addresses complex issues in a language that even preschoolers can understand. Yet, it simultaneously conveys an authentic message of hope for a just and equitable peace that will resonate with people of all ages, all races, and all walks of life. Painting for Peace in Ferguson presents us with a vision of freedom and fairness for which many have fought and died - a vision to which we all must aspire."   

Leon Sharpe
Founder & Principle - The Praxis Group
Adjunct Professor - Webster University
"As someone who grew up in Ferguson and participated in the painting for peace project, I have many connections to this book. However, the book doesn't just belong to Ferguson. A broader message of resiliency and hope for racial harmony is woven throughout the images, making it relevant for any community. Though the book tells only one part of a much larger and complicated story, it is a great teaching tool to start dialogues with children about what kind of world they want to live in, and empowers them to do their part. I'd recommend this book to any teacher, therapist, or parent who wants to start talking with children about race in America."
Reader, Gussie


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