Saturday, May 20, 2023

Today's read... Swinging For Joy by Aishah Hight

Once glance at the cover on today's read, and I was more than ready to take a peek. The colors and... okay, I have a soft spot for cute, little doggies... but I think this cover is very lovely. Plus, the promise of positivity makes it a read, which invites to be picked up. Now, let's see if the inside is as good as it promises to be.

London Learns
by Aishah Hight
Illustrated by Whimsical Designs by CJ
Cellar of Purple
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

In this delightful rhyming picture book, a dog with a disability saves the day. And the historical significance of what the canine heroine finds, culminates in hope and joy.

After enjoying swinging in the park, London and her amazing dog Joy encounter a young boy who's lost a family treasure. Inspired to help, Joy springs into action, leading London and the boy on a delightful adventure to find it. Will they find what they're looking for and discover the legacy behind the lost treasure?

Swinging for Joy is a heartwarming reminder that an act of kindness can become the bond of friendship. Aishah Hight creates a rhythmical tale that inspires young readers to care for others, be hopeful, and in so doing, find joy.



Positive feelings and joy radiate from these pages and are sure to leave a smile on the face.

London and her dog, Joy, share a wonderful relationship and especially enjoy swinging together on the playground. When they see a boy crying, he explains that he's lost something very important to him. London tells him that if simply tells Joy about his desire to find the hat, it might become true.

This is a sweet tale, which weaves the willingness to help others around a teensy-tiny bit of the magic surrounding the imagination and heart. London's love for her dog warms and comes across with goodness pure. The dog is blind, but this isn't concentrated on and makes the dog seem that much more special...because maybe whispering into its ear does make wishes come true. It's a sweet thought and plays well into the story. Add the willingness to help others and new friendship, and it's sunshine pure.

The illustrations swing right into the atmosphere with bright colors and radiant scenes. The dog, despite its blindness, comes across as playful and lively as any cute dog should be. London's cheerful personality is also apparent in every scene. The setting is familiar and invites in as well. 

The text works very well as a read-aloud. Those more sure of their words can pick this one up on their own, too. There is a gentle, rhyme, which flows in subtly and extremely smoothly, and the vocabulary fits well to the age group. 

This one does take a small, historical twist as the boy searches for an important heirloom. I was disappointed to see that this aspect appeared only as a dream-like illustration, when it could offer so much more. A short explanation from the boy...just two sentences or so...would have brought quite a bit of light onto the meaning of the Tuskegee Airman without bogging down. And young listeners love learning when it comes in small, digestible, interesting bites.

It is a lovely read with tons of goodness. I do see classrooms and other group settings enjoying this one. 

And here she is...

Aishah was born in Queens, New York but spent her teen and adult years in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up in diverse communities influences her writing and fuels her passion for uplifting and empowering children. Aishah’s children’s books include themes of kindness, hope, and overcoming challenges. When she isn’t writing, Aishah works as a project manager, watches suspense movies, and spends time with her family. Swinging for Joy is Aishah’s first published children’s book.

Book on Amazon:
Instagram & Facebook: @aishahhightbooks

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