“Book of Hopes” by Katherine Rundell & Literacy Trust

One of the benefits of being a parent is a regular opportunity to revisit old childhood classics or discover new children’s books alongside the young generatation. Recently British award-winning children’s author Katherine Rundell launched her latest book, but it’s quite different to the ones that she published before. “The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown” is a collaborative effort that came together within a short period of time & will hopefully delight children & parents not only in the UK, but around the world.

the book of hopes
The Book of Hopes, free to download via The Literacy Trust

Available to download for free via Literacy Trust, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers, poets and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Michael Morpugo, Sophie Anderson, Anthony Horowitz, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Onjali Q. Rauf, Michelle Magorian, Piers Torday, Jessie Burton, Lauren St. John, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Francesca Simon, Nizran Farook, Ross Montgomery, L.D. Lapinski, Sophie Dahl, Chris Riddell, Jacqueline Wilson – and Katherine herself.

image courtesy of Tom Percival
Uplifting Hope by Tom Percival

The Book of Hopes was created to help inspire and encourage children during lockdown (and beyond) with new ideas, ridiculous jokes and heroic tales. There are fascinating stories of cats, toilet ghost dog and plastic-devouring caterpillars; there are revolting poems, beautiful poems and even a poem about umbrellas; there are stories of space travel, new shoes, armadillos and dragons. You will read about magic and aliens, birthdays and friendships, detectives & viking in the spring, smiles and fainting in front of the Queen.

The collection was created in a truly collaborative effort and is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals – the much appreciated frontline staff without who all of us would be in a much darker place. Bloomsbury intends to publish a gift book based on the project in the autumn, with the funds raised to help support of NHS Charities Together.

colour by Lauren Child
All kinds of colours by Lauren Child

“A few weeks ago, I began a Hope Project; I emailed some of the children’s writers and artists whose work I love most. I asked them to write something very short, fiction or non-fiction, or draw something that would make the children reading it feel like possibility-ists: something that would make them laugh or wonder or snort or smile. The response was magnificent, which shouldn’t have surprised me, because children’s writers and illustrators are professional hunters of hope. I hope that the imagination can be a place of shelter for children in the hard months ahead and that The Book of Hopes might be useful in that, even if only a little.”

Katherine Rundell

Reading this book with the children will surprise and delight. It will help you bond at a time when the world lives with an increased sense of uncertainty. It will help re-align the inner moral compass and give renewed sense of hope in times of heartbreak and sorrow, reassuring that there is always a silver lining of hope to help you be guided towards the light. Stay healthy & safe and enjoy special moment of reading with your children – you to them or they to you. It might even allow your inner actor to re-emerge, as well as nurture your own inner child.

“Book of Hopes” is available for free download here

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