It was been a strange year and a half. I don’t think anyone can argue that. There have been many challenges ~ I’m getting used to the isolation … he’s so stressed … she’s a little more clingy, but I guess that’s predictable … I’m just so weary. There have also been many opportunities ~ I’ve had time to slow down and think … she’s discovered a new passion … he’s spent lots of time adventuring in the woods … I have different options now than I had before.
Reading, “I don’t know if I can begin again” in my friend’s email last week made me think more closely about recent past, and what the future will offer. I tried to think of ways to share HOPE with her. Of course I thought of book…. How can books help? Where can we find glimmers of light and sparks of joy to lighten our burdens and change our perspective.
Amanda Gordon was certainly a beacon of hope when I first “met” her at the inauguration. Her new book, Change Sings, illustrated by Loren Long is a call to action. Each step and action, no matter how large or small makes a difference. We can change the world as long as we don’t “fear change coming” and choose to “sing along.” This gorgeous book celebrates hope, music and care. Each time I read it I discover something new. What will you find when you read it? What will you hear as you listen to the music of change? How will this book lead you into your future?
I discovered the positivity of Chloe Wade in her books Heart Talk and Where to Begin a few years ago. When I learned of her new picture book, What the Road Said, I suspected it would be a good one. It is. This book, all about life’s choices, is for readers of every age and every stage of the quest. We are all on a road and in every second of our journey there are myriad options to take. What can we do? How will it go? This book is hopeful, encouraging and realistic. Each page offers advice and comfort. Here are two:
WHICH WAY DO I GO? That is your choice to make, said the Road. BUT WHAT IF I GO THE WRONG WAY? The Road curved a little, almost as if it was giving me a hug, and said, Do not worry. Sometimes we go the wrong way to the right way. WHAT IF I GET SCARED? That is okay. You are brave, said the Road. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BRAVE? I asked, The Road guided me through a very gloomy forest. Even though I was frightened, I trusted the Road, and as I took one step, and then another step after that, the Road gently whispered, Being brave is when you are afraid of doing something, but you do it anyway. Do not let what scares you keep from continuing on your path …
Be Strong by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hall looks at strength from many different angles. Strength climbs rock walls. Strength helps others when life is tough. Strength keeps promises. Strength makes things happen. Strength can guide you toward making your world a better place. “Together we can be strong.”
Finally, I Am Courage ~ A book of Resilience by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter Reynolds is an exploration of bravery. The end flap shares: “…real courage comes from feeling scared and facing what challenges us anyway. When our minds tell us “I can’t,” we can look inside ourselves and find the strength to say, “Yes, I CAN!”
These books have all been published in the last six months. It can’t be a coincidence. Clearly we are searching for words of encouragement, sparks of joy and glimmers of hope. What books add light to your life? If you don’t mind, share them in a comment so we can grow this list. Books like this are a comfort.
Happy Reading! 📚