What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows?: True Stories of Imagination and Courage

Written by: Heather Camlot

Illustrated by: Serge Bloch

For ages: perfect for 8-12 years or grades 3-7

Language: English

Topics Covered: War, Nonviolent Action, Activism, Imagination, Peace, Military Action, Global Community, History, Historical Figures. 

Summary: Activism, Military Action, Nonviolent Protest, Peace, Creativity, Imagination, Social Justice, Kindness.

Today for #sweetsandsocialjustice we have a really neat book that takes whimsical and imaginative questions and pairs them with a real story, inspiring readers to take ideas they care about and use them to improve the world.  For a sweet snack to accompany the book, I’ve made toaster pastry pillows filled with blackberry jam!

Using questions as almost a section header, the book can then launch into how this question could actually solve a problem-and has in the past!  For example, asking about soldiers using a soccer field to play a game instead of fight each other lends itself to the example of Ivory Coast soccer star Didier Drogba.  When given a microphone to talk about the game that the team had just played, he used it instead to make a plea to the general public to stop fighting in a civil war and instead get along.  You know what? It worked.

That is the power of this book.  It takes fanciful questions or ideas that might seem silly, like Navy SEALS balancing balls on their noses instead of fighting, and connects it to a charity that sends clowns to visit kids at refugee camps (Clowns Without Borders). This book talks a lot of violent conflicts, and how ordinary citizens changed reality by leaning into their imaginations and working towards peace.  In the back is a wonderful glossary, list of sources and quotes used in the book.  Powerful and inspiring, it’s the perfect middle grade book for a reader that loves both history and social justice.

This book was generously sent by OwlKids Publishing, but all opinions are our own!

Recipe: Toaster Pastry Pillows filled with Jam

Pie crust: (our favorite recipe comes from Alana Chernila’s book The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making)


2 1/4c all purpose flour

2 sticks butter (the colder the better)

2t apple cider vinegar

1/3c water

pinch salt

To make dough: put water salt and vinegar together and into the freezer for 10 minutes. Cut the butter into small chunks and mix into the flour until it looks cut in.  Slowly stream in the water.  Once all the water is in, mix until it forms a dough but only until just then. Split into two disks and put in the fridge for at least an hour (will also keep up to three days there).

Roll out dough thinly and cut an even amount of the shapes you wish to bake. Egg wash the bottom piece’s edges and put a spoonful of jam or other filling, place top piece and crimp edges (I usually use a fork, but you don’t have to). I like to egg wash the tops to make it shiny, but that’s preference. Carefully poke a few holes in the top with a fork or toothpick. Bake at 375 until golden brown on edges.  Eat plain, or with sifted powdered sugar on top, or make a simple glaze.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

EmvqGeOb_400x400Heather Camlot is a Toronto-based writer, editor and translator who has covered a diverse range of topics in her 20-year career, including books, health, technology, travel, entertainment, décor and parenting.

She graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and from New York University with a Master of Arts in Journalism. She worked for numerous magazines and digital properties, including Ladies’ Home Journal, TV Guide Canada, Style at Home, Quicken.ca, MySweetBaby.ca, Microsoft Home Magazine and WorkLivePlayCafe.com.

Heather has written for The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Help! We’ve Got Kids, and Quill & Quire, among others, and was a columnist for Vu Magazine, Canadian Living.com, Homemakers.com, and Microsoft Home Magazine. She has translated French articles for English publications Owl, CAA-Quebec’s Touring, and Société Des Alcools de Quebec’s (SAQ) TCHIN TCHIN and Cellier.

Heather worked part-time for Toronto children’s bookstore Mabel’s Fables, where she did triple-duty as bookseller, French book buyer, and blog manager and contributor. Although she stepped down from in-store duties in September 2016 after two years, she continues to manage the blog and order French books.

A friend of the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), she currently serves as the speaker coordinator for the organization’s annual Packaging Your Imagination conference. She was a judge for the Juvenile/YA category of the 2016 Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Crime Writing and won the 17th annual Writing for Children Competition held by CANSCAIP and The Writers’ Union of Canada. Clutch is her first novel. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Marc, and her kids, Alexandre and Juliana, but still calls Montreal home.

portrait-fleche-648x429-1Serge Bloch is a French illustrator, born June 18th, 1956 in Colmar ( France).

He attended the Claude Lapointe illustration studio in Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg, and, after his graduation he started working for the children and teens literature. In particular he has been visual chief editor of Bayard jeunesse.

He also works for the editorial world for newspapers and magazines such as New York Times, Boston Globe, Le Monde, Telerama, Psychologies, Le Nouvel Observateur, Liberation, etc…

He was  awarded several international prizes and gold medals in recognition of his work.

His contribution to the communication world has been constant. In this field he has worked with prestigious Firms such as Hermes, Coca-Cola, RATP( Paris Mass Transportation), Publicis (Paris),Samsung, Petit Bateau. The French Telecommunication Agency, La Poste issued in Automn 2010 stamps that Serge created.

His books are internationally translated and published. For his first Japanese book, Inochino Kazoekata (Chikura Shobo publishing)2010 he has collaborated with Kundo Koyama, script writer of Departure , 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

He is sharing his time between NYC and Paris. He has expanded his area of expertise by entering the fine art world doing shows in Paris, NYC, Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin…


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