Hope is the Thing by Johanna Bell & Erica Wagner (illus.)
Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem, Hope is the Thing is a stunning book from Australians Johanna Bell and Erica Wagner. It celebrates the joy and beauty of small, everyday moments. They write in a note to readers that they wanted to create a book that would inspire children to see the beauty and hope in the world after the devastating bushfires in 2019.
The rhyming text is not so much a story as it is a list of ways hope endures in the world, using Australian birds. From the wedge-tailed eagle flying to the Ibis digging through bins, Bell and Wagner illustrate how simple and powerful nature is. I love the use of collage for the illustrations; it provides depth and texture without overwhelming the message of the story. It also makes the reader feel as though the little girl in the story is creating the book as you’re reading it, which is a truly magical effect. Perfect for ages 3+.