When my editor first proposed the name, The Peaceable Forest, India’s Tale of Kindness to Animals, for my book, I hesitated. “I don’t know. I really like the subtitle, but I’m not so sure about the word Peaceable in the title. It is not a word children will know, and it is not used in modern English. Let me spend a day or two thinking it over and I’ll call you back.”
Up until that point, my only encounter with the word ‘peaceable’ had been Edward Hick’s famous painting known as The Peaceable Kingdom. I did a little research. Hicks was a Quaker living in Pennsylvania at the turn of the eighteenth century (1780 –1849). From 1820 until the end of his life he painted more than sixty versions of The Peaceable Kingdom, illustrating the following verse from the eleventh chapter of Isaiah:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”
I certainly resonate with The Peaceable Kingdom’s powerful message, and so does my book. Next step was to check in with a handful of friends who are authors and book sellers. Everyone liked it. By this point I was liking it too.
“You and your editorial team are right,” I said when I called my editor back. “The Peaceable Forest title is really good. It’s unique, and it sparks an interest in people when they hear it.”
The title, The Peaceable Forest, proved itself to be a winner when I sent the digital book out for reviews. To my surprise, every reviewer opened my email, read the book, and sent a beautiful response.
I look forward to this ancient story of love and peace, now titled The Peaceable Forest, reaching millions of people, as The Peaceable Kingdom did a century ago.