Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Review: Hope is an Open Heart

I am always looking for good children's books that reinforce the values we try to teach and live in our family. A recent great find at our local library is Hope is an Open Heart by Lauren Thompson (who also wrote another one of our favorites, The Apple Pie that Papa Baked). The photography is beautiful - the cover almost looks like a watercolor painting - and shows diverse landscapes and people. The art is complemented by language that is simple, clear and poetic. At the end of the book, Thompson shares the inspiring stories of some of the subjects of her photos who turned tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami into personal triumphs.

What I really like about this book is the fact that it includes the entire range of human emotion. Hope is not only "knowing that you are loved", but it is also "angry words bursting, making room for understanding." At first it might seem strange to juxtapose the concept of hope with feelings such as fear, loneliness and sadness, but it is important for children to know that in moments of suffering, as well as moments of joy, there is always a gift to be found. What a beautiful lesson.


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