Saturday, September 18, 2021

Review: Pear of Hope by Wenda Shurety

Today's picture book already nods to next month—Cancer Awareness Month. The description caught my interest on this one, and I am glad I decided to give it a read. It's packed with hope, warmth and heart.

But why don't you just take a peek? 


PEAR OF HOPE
by Wenda Shurety
Illustrated by Deb Hudson
EK Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8


Anna loves the old pear tree that lives at the bottom of the garden. When she becomes seriously ill, her relationship with the tree provides comfort and peace on her journey, particularly when she plants a seed from one of the tree’s pears.

Pear of Hope is the story of a little girl with cancer and her tale of recovery. This is intertwined with the growth of a pear tree, which symbolises the enigmatic concept of hope. Told through sensitive words and gentle, beautiful illustrations, the story will comfort and inspire any children who are struggling to feel positive, whatever journey they may be on.

Author Wenda Shurety wrote Pear of Hope because, as someone living with Multiple Sclerosis, hope has been instrumental in her healing process. The story is a gentle introduction to building a more positive outlook in the face of struggle. As well as adults and children suffering from illness, it will also appeal to educators discussing the topics of hope and symbolism, and to medical staff or counsellors who have to discuss hope in difficult situations.

The beautiful story of Pear of Hope and its brave, adventurous and hopeful main character, Anna, will be a crucial step towards children and their carers embracing hope in their lives. With its vibrant images, it is a reminder of the beauty of the world around us and of the fact that, like Anna, with hope you can face any battle!


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MY TIDBITS

Hope shines through lovely illustrations, the wonders of a pear tree, and a very brave girl.

A girl enjoys playing around the pear tree and enjoying all the exciting things thriving around it. When a storm comes, the girl remains in her bed. The tree stands but isn't its cheery self. But the storm does pass, and the girl goes back outside. She plants a seed and watches a wonderful tree grow until life is vibrant again.

I'm going to start with the illustrations because these are beautifully done. They allow the joy of nature as well as the changes to come across with simplicity, yet wonderful atmosphere. It's a joy to watch the change through the nature and the hope unfold. Plus, it doesn't forget the artistic touch, which gives the book its personal sense of warmth.

The text is kept simple and usually consists of only one sentence or phrase. So, it's very fitting for the age group and easy to understand on that front. But this book isn't so much about the words as the tale, which flows underneath the surface. It's never directly stated that the girl becomes ill nor is it said which specific problem she battles. This entire ordeal is covered with the storm and the bare tree, while the girl remains in bed inside. When she does go outside with her hair gone, the message is clear. This will need explanation for many young listeners and that opens up the door perfectly for discussions. It definitely offers tons of hope and allows a serious issue to be addressed in a very lovely and caring manner.

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