Book Review: In the Mood for Peace

Read a fantastic book last summer and wanted to share my thoughts on it.  I am proud to be Canadian!

In the Mood for Peace – The Story of the Izzy Doll

Author:  Phyllis Wheaton

Genre: Historical, Non-fiction

Soft cover, 192 pages, B&W interior photos, Colour title page photos

ISBN 978-0-9681294-1-8

Released:  2012

To purchase:

This book is available as a soft cover or pdf format – I picked up both!

Reviewed by:  Faith Wood, Inspiring Minds Consulting Ltd. (

“One percent” (according to marketing guru Seth Godin).  That is the number of individuals who will be struck with inspiration and take some kind of action as a result.  From making a phone call to implementing a plan.  “One percent of people in a classroom will be sparked by an idea and go do something about it.  And then, of that 1%, perhaps 1% will go ahead and take more action, or recruit others, or write a book or volunteer. One percent of one percent.”

These are not high numbers and yet, those one percenters are creating a ripple in the fabric of our society through their willingness to do something.  To enlist as a Canadian peacekeeper to participating in treaties for the reduction of landmines to supplying much needed medical supplies to feeding the hungry – their small steps are gaining momentum.

The Dahlai Lama said “The world will be saved by the western woman,” for they are leading the charge.  He did not predict this, he observed it in action.   However, rarely are women making these efforts to win a prize or accolades but rather because they see or sense something that needs to be done and so they act without question.

Author and Songwriter Phyllis Wheaton tells the story of a few of these incredible western women (and men).  She reveals a behind the scenes glimpse of what it means to be a parent of a soldier killed in the line of duty.  How they grieve, how they recover and the lessons they seek to share.  She invites you to meet a few special soldiers who have inspired others to take action.  Through their diaries, poems and photographs, she introduces readers into the personal lives of some brave Canadians.  “Their story had to be told before they were forgotten entirely”.

In the Mood for Peace, primarily tells the story of the Isfelds of Courtenay, British Columbia – and how Carol and Brian Isfeld honoured the memory of their fallen son, Mark, who was killed when an APC (armoured Personnel Carrier) hit a trip wire setting off a series of explosions in Croatia in June of 1994.   He was on his third tour of duty.

Readers will be welcomed into the Isfeld’s family and experience their heartache and their love.  One would say an ordinary Canadian family, who like so many others, believed in kindess and compassion and held these ideals in highest esteem.  You will discover how a mother’s creativity was inspired by a photograph and a desire to ease her son’s sleepless nights by igniting a smile from a  child living in a country torn apart by war and disaster.  As the pages turn, the remarkable Izzy Doll story is revealed.

From the Izzy comfort dolls to Boomer Caps and the extraordinary work of ICROSS (International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering) readers will be drawn into a world of one percenters taking decisive action.  Phyllis Wheaton does a wonderful job of sharing their stories, but she also leaves space for the reader to ask their own questions; to ponder how they may contribute or find themselves waiting for someone else to act.

Mark Isfeld challenged others to not selfishly leave items in their pockets which could be shared with others.  To give what you have to those who need it most.  He believed that the smallest act of kindness could profoundly influence humanity for the better.

In The Mood for Peace is a story about relationships and healing and how self-described ‘ordinary’ people have done extraordinary things.  You will meet Canadians, from all walks of life, who are taking decisive action – one volunteer, one knitter at a time.   And, you will discover a few small ways in which we can all contribute if we choose to be part of the one percent who act.

In the Author’s own words:  “It is easy to become paralyzed or feel inadequate or cynical about the woes of the world, or to expect that the needed change will come from others. But being in the mood for peace, I believe, is being in a state of awareness of what needs to be done and then acting on it.”

Grab a copy of this book for yourself and consider purchasing additional copies for someone who would benefit from the message – you will not be disappointed and neither will they.