The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown
For the last few weeks, I have been hunting for hope. One of the places I have been looking has been in books: old books, new books, terrifically serious books with footnotes in Latin and terrifically unserious books with jokes too rude to repeat here. And I have found that, with each book I read, I have felt a little tougher: a little bolder, a little more ready to face the world.
And I think this is why: I think stories of transformation, of wild glories and everyday glories, of magic both real and imaginary, can act like a map. They give us a push towards hope. Real, true hope isn’t the promise that everything will be all right – but it’s a belief that the world has so many strangenesses and possibilities that giving up would be a mistake; that we live in a universe shot through with the unexpected. There’s never been a single decade in human history when we have not taken ourselves by surprise: we, the knobbly-kneed, wonky-toothed human species, have an endless potential for change. I am not exactly an optimist, but nor am I pessimist; I am a possibilityist. The possibilities out there for beauty, for transforming the world, are literally infinite – there are spectacular ideas that we will have in the next ten years that we can’t even begin to dream of now.
So few weeks ago, I began a Hope Project…
Completely free for all children and families, the extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators. This book is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals: you are the stuff that wild, heroic tales are made of.