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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Hope is a little white dachshund, a little girl’s best friend. Hope is always there, when the little girl is walking, sleeping, reading or just enjoying her ice cream. Hope is there even when the little girl doesn’t realize she’s there. It’s as if the girl, distracted by her own life, takes Hope’s presence for granted. Until one day, she’s no longer there. Everything changes. But the little girl finally decides to take action and she goes searching for her Hope, her little white dachshund.
Richard Aab’s picture book story, Hope, is an allegory to help young readers understand the meaning and the metaphysical concept of hope. In this age of modern conveniences, interruptive devices and complex challenges, it’s far too easy to become complacent about life and what life has to offer. But, like in the allegory, there is always hope. All one has to do is look for it, continually, with determined persistence and perseverance.
The colorful illustrations help carry this story along. When Hope the dachshund is by the little girl’s side, the world around them both is bright and colorful and cheery. All the flowers are blooming and the trees are lush with leaves. When Hope the dachshund mysteriously disappears, the illustrations depict barren trees and drooping flowers. Everything looks downcast and hopeless. When Hope is found, all is right in the world again and the illustrations depict bright, colorful flowers once more and trees full of leaves. This is a great story for young readers, something to be shared with a grownup as it is bound to open up a multitude of questions. Well done!