Hope Is An Open Heart

Overview

Uplifting text by NYT bestselling author Lauren Thompson, paired with inspiring photographs from around the world, offers a timeless message of hope.

We've all had days when hope feels far away, when the world seems cold and dark. Thankfully, comfort can come to us in many ways, as it does in this very special book.

Lauren Thompson's luminous text, paired with breathtaking photographs from around the world, provides an uplifting introduction to...

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Overview

Uplifting text by NYT bestselling author Lauren Thompson, paired with inspiring photographs from around the world, offers a timeless message of hope.

We've all had days when hope feels far away, when the world seems cold and dark. Thankfully, comfort can come to us in many ways, as it does in this very special book.

Lauren Thompson's luminous text, paired with breathtaking photographs from around the world, provides an uplifting introduction to the meaning of hope. Speaking to people of all ages, across all cultures, these words and images celebrate loving families, caring friends, small kindnesses, and great inner strength. Through this book, we can see hope reach around the world, and feel its power to change us all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Similar to Charles M. Schulz's Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, this sentimental crowd-pleaser defines hope through examples, pairing these with luxuriant photographs that highlight children and places from all over the world. "Hope/ is holding tight/ to your mother's hand" accompanies a picture of a mother and child walking on a beautiful Alabama beach. "Hope is a heart/ that is open to the world around you" features a string of Sri Lankan children in school uniforms holding hands. In an afterword, Thompson (the Little Quack books) talks about the inspiring experiences captured in five of the photographs; all other photographs go unexplained. Sometimes neither text nor art successfully translates the abstract concept of hope. To exemplify "Hope is remembering that you are not alone," the text abruptly adds a didactic digression ("Many others feel/ just the way you do./ Many others care") while the accompanying photograph pictures two boys, backs to the camera, staring at the water from a craggy shore. Even so, the text maintains a consistent emotional appeal and the photos a National Geographic-style gorgeousness; a portion of the sales benefits Volunteers of America. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Thompson's end notes explain that she wrote this book as a result of having helped her then four-year-old son deal with the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001. Living in the New York City area, she wanted him to feel safe. This explanation might help the book make sense for adults reading statements such as "Hope is sad tears flowing, making room for joy." Or "Hope is angry words bursting, making room for understanding." Other statements are more optimistic, such as "Hope is finding happiness in simple things." And "Hope is daring to do something you've never done before." But none of these statements seem to have a direct relationship to the real, dictionary meaning of the word hope. Young children are likely to be confused. Brilliant photographs show children of a variety of ethnicities and cover the pages. The circumstances relating to five of the pictures are described in the end notes. No explanations are provided for the other seventeen. The stunning illustrations make the book visually appealing, but the intended audience is unclear. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

This is an attractive book with possibilities for productive discussion if presented by a sensitive and intuitive adult. The text consists of a simple sentence per spread, with "hope" in large font and a color that correlates to a color in the photograph, an effective technique for tying the two together. This is followed by a philosophical definition with a key word or two in bold type. Some of the definitions may prove confusing to children-"Hope is sad tears flowing, making room for joy"-if encountered in isolation, but could enlarge their understanding if an opportunity for reflection were provided. A clear and vivid color photograph accompanies each spread. An author's note explains Thompson's impetus and motivation, but, more importantly, the circumstances experienced by some of the subjects, such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Tsunami. This is a useful book for children who have endured or are learning about some of the disasters that have rocked the world recently.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
Photographs: a child behind a raindrop-spattered window; a child's face bearing a single tear; a long shot of a child holding her mother's hand on the beach. Each page carries a sentence or two about what hope is: "finding happiness in simple things," "a candle flame in the darkness," "remembering [your father's] kisses when he can't be there with you." The photographs, over double spreads or in tight close-up, are mostly children of many ethnicities and locales (they are all sourced and Thompson explains who some of them are in notes at the end). It is difficult to quite see how this highly metaphorical treatment would explain what "hope" is to children, who are, after all, well known for their literal thinking. Awash in sentimentality, this string of statements accretes effectively to meaninglessness: How can hope be "holding tight to your mother's hand" and "the glistening of snow when the storm has passed?" Young readers will find a lot more to hope for in Thompson's The Apple Pie That Papa Baked (2007), illustrated by Jonathan Bean. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545268882
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Thompson is the author of several New York Times bestselling children's books, including the much-beloved Little Quack series and the award-winning picture book POLAR BEAR NIGHT. She is also the author of THE APPLE PIE THAT PAPA BAKED and BALLERINA DREAMS: A TRUE STORY. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Robert, and their son, Owen. You can visit her Web site at www.laurenthompson.net.

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