'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 4 April 2021

Review: The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain

The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain is all about possibilities and hope for the future. 

That's what Katherine Rundell wanted to focus on right now, when the world is in upheaval.

Rundell is a bestselling author (Rooftoppers and others), and she contacted her writing and illustrating colleagues and invited them to participate in this compilation.

More than 100 people have contributed, and the book amounts to almost 400 pages of uplifting short stories, poems and illustrations. 

One of my favourites is The One-Hundred-Year-Old Gardener who plants strawberry seedlings, looking forward to turning them into jam by her next birthday.

There's also Lockdown Cat Haircut, where a young child amuses herself with the neighbour's cat, and The Hope-o-potamus, who learns that although the journey may be tough, you should keep going because persistance can pay off.

Most of the written pieces are less than 500 words in length, and some even shorter, so you can read one or more in a short space of time.

There are also gorgeous stand-alone illustrations like one of children chalk drawing, and some featuring famous quotes, such as Martin Luther King Junior's 'Only in the darkness can you see the stars'. And there's one from Emily Gravett called New Classmates, which is a picture of a child in pyjamas teaching maths to a pet dog, cat, rabbit, and fish.

The creative pieces are presented in categories with titles like The Stars, Things That Grow, Kindnesses, Playtime, and Do It Yourself. 

You may recognise many of the creators, or at least you might know their books. People like Axel Scheffler (who illustrated The Gruffalo), Anthony Horowitz (creator of the Alex Rider series), and Lauren Child (the Charlie and Lola books).

The Book of Hopes is a great book to dip in and out of. Keep it nearby and pick it up when you need a boost, or simply want to smile. It's highly recommended.

The UK's National Literacy Trust has a host of downloadable resources to support The Book of Hopes, including curriculum resources, and wellbeing and literacy resources.

Title: The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain
Author: Edited by Katherine Rundell
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $ 24.99
Publication Date: January 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN:  9781526629883
For ages: 8+
Type: Anthology