Bob’s Hope by Jessica Sweeney is an excellent children’s picture book. Nicely illustrated in a palate of green, blue, and yellow (with a little red for the ladybug) it tells the simple story of a blade of grass named Bob and his friendship with a ladybug named Lily. Unlike Bob, who is rooted to the earth, Lily has traveled everywhere and seen many kinds of animals and aspects of nature. Bob is heartbroken when she leaves, and must pray for hope and peace to avoid feeling alone. The book celebrates friendship and the message is one of acceptance that sometimes it’s natural to struggle when people leave us for unknown reasons.
Bob’s Hope is everything a children’s picture book should be—accessible, colorful, positive, and a good teaching tool. Easy to read aloud, with bright pictures small kids can follow as they listen, it is likely to become a favorite with kids. A small line with a ladybug traveling on it appears periodically on several pages, with ladybug moving along it as the book progresses—a really cute touch that will enforce the narrative progression for the young listeners. The cheerful nature of Jessica Sweeney’s storytelling and the universal nature of Bob and Lily’s friendship provide a good vehicle for touching on any potentially sensitive separation issue (from death of a loved one to a friend simply moving away) without going into too much detail and encourages healthy responses. A viable tool for any parent or teacher, Bob’s Hope gets an A+ from this reader.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.