Friday, July 12, 2019

Review - Hope

by Corrinne Averiss
illustrated by Sébastien Pelon
Date: 2019
Publisher: words & pictures
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

“Hope is keeping a light on, however dark things seem.”

Comet is Finn’s dog, and his very best friend. They do everything together. But one day Comet won’t get out of his basket - not even for his very favorite things! The vet tells Finn that Comet needs to stay in overnight for an operation. That evening, Finn sits in his den feeling very alone. Dad tells him to keep on hoping. That night, as Finn sleeps, thousand of little lights appear in the sky, each one a hope from a different person in the world.

Emotional, funny, and uplifting, this beautiful picture book is a pure delight from start to finish. A wonderful story that shows children not to give up hope when times are uncertain.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book, while sweet, has the potential to get hopes up and make children very distrustful of picture books if things happen to turn out differently for them.

Finn's dog, Comet, is his best friend. They do everything together. But when Comet gets sick, Finn's parents take the dog to the vet. The vet promises to do what he can, and Finn has no choice but to go home and wait. While he waits, with the encouragement of his father, he hopes. And, eventually, Comet returns, feeling much better.

When a dog is as sick as Comet appeared to be, there's probably something pretty serious going on. I don't really like how this book gives the impression that all that's needed is an overnight stay at the vet's and everything will be all better. If your dog is sick enough to have to stay at the vet's, it's probably very ill. It might even have to be put down. In fact, I thought that's where this book was going to go, with perhaps a hopeful little message about love and memories. Unfortunately, the loss of a dog is something that nearly all dog owners are going to have to experience at some point; I kind of wish this book had addressed this reality, rather than giving Finn a temporary happy ending.

The illustrations are probably the best thing about this book for me, although I'm not sure why Finn doesn't have any colour like the other human figures. The scene with all the hopes twinkling in the night sky is especially pretty.

Maybe this is just a case of expectations not matching with the actual book. But I would caution parents to tread carefully with this one; I don't think I would've appreciated reading a book about a boy whose dog gets a happy ending right after having to say goodbye to my own dog. Timing will be important with this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and words & pictures for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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