John Lennon peace website launches to celebrate new 'Imagine' picture book

People from around the world write peace messages ahead of the publication of the first picture book set to Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ lyrics

Celebrities including Richard Curtis and Juliet Stevenson have already joined the online global act of solidarity

Messages will be shared to mark International Day of Peace

People from around the world are writing messages of peace to celebrate John Lennon’s iconic ‘Imagine’ lyrics, which will be published for the first time as a picture book on the UN’s International Day of Peace (September 21).

A new website, www.imaginepeacebook.com, has launched today (14 August) to allow people of all ages to share their messages of peace and hope in a global display of solidarity.

The messages will be shared on International Day of Peace to coincide with the launch of the book ‘Imagine’. Yoko Ono Lennon has granted the ‘Imagine’ lyrics to Amnesty International and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books to create the first ever picture book set to John Lennon's words. The book, which will be published in 15 languages, is illustrated by renowned French artist Jean Jullien. 

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Nearly half a century after it was first recorded, Imagine’s vision of a peaceful world without conflict, greed or hunger is as relevant as ever.

“John and Yoko’s dream of people standing up for what they believe in and breaking down barriers is something we strongly admire at Amnesty International. We know that when people come together with a shared vision, they can change things for the better.

“We hope that people of all ages and from all corners of the world will join us by writing their own message of peace, in a global act of solidarity for a better future for everyone.”

Celebrities and public figures including Richard Curtis, Juliet Stevenson and Hollie McNish have already pledged their messages of peace on the website. Michael Morpurgo and Chris Riddell have also given their support to the book.

Screen writer and film director Richard Curtis has written: “It was John Lennon who inspired me to join Amnesty when I was 15. Forty-five years later I realise more and more how brave and muscular his battle against war was. The world is getting better. Poverty, hunger, disease, injustice are all on the run. But it is war, war, war that is slowing down the process. If we gain peace - everything else wonderful will follow.”

Actor Juliet Stevenson’s message is: “This book is a beautiful visual version of John Lennon’s cry for peace and harmony. Its message for humanity has never been more urgently needed than now.”

Poet and spoken word artist Hollie McNish writes: "I hope that one day peace makes more money than war and destruction so that it will be on the most powerful people’s global agendas instead.”

Children’s author Michael Morpurgo said: “Never have we all, child and grown-up child, needed this more, the words and the song in our hearts, lifting our spirits, giving us hope, and determination too to find the road to understanding, conciliation and peace.”

Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell said the book is: “...a beautiful reimagining of John Lennon’s immortal lyrics, tender and perfectly judged.”

The ‘Imagine’ website also features an animated trailer using John Lennon’s original song, and downloadable ‘Imagine’ and International Day of Peace activity resources for schools.

As well as the online peace messages, schools, libraries and festivals will be organising activities for people to write peace messages on paper pigeons - based on the pigeon Jean Jullien has drawn to illustrate ‘Imagine’ - which will be displayed in public places around the country to celebrate International Day of Peace.

Additional information:

Ahead of the launch you can pre-order the book from the Amnesty Shop or enter a competition to win a free copy on the Amnesty UK website.

The website has been developed by leading digital studio The Creative Corporation in collaboration with publisher Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Amnesty International.

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books is an imprint of The Quarto Group

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