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“Hope holds / one lovely / vowel like a / promise!” So begins renowned poet Luci Shaw’s exquisite, playful, yet deeply meaningful, ode to hope and the letter “O.” Shaw encourages young readers to see hope and the letter “O” in all things wondrous and beautiful: “Think how / we cry ‘Oh!’ / at the round / sun rising. / O is the / shape of / a mouth / singing, / and in the / color of / a round, / red cherry. / ‘Oh!’ / say our / open eyes / at surprising / beauty, / and then, ‘Wow!’

Shaw’s poem celebrates the ordinary things of life within the framework of God’s abiding love: “Love forms / a circle / that holds / us all / together, / safe in / the center / of the / loving / heart of / GOD.”

In author notes, Shaw writes, “Younger children will delight in their search for the colorful “o’s” in the text, but my deep desire is that this book (the words and the illustrations) gives you an opportunity to discuss the true meaning of hope. We live in a world that is dim on hope, but our faith reminds us of the source of our hope—God’s love and grace—and has introduced us to ‘a better hope’ (Heb. 7:19).”

In this wonderful introduction to the joy of poetry, illustrator Ned Bustard’s vivid, eye-catching artwork brings Shaw’s words to life and gives children the enjoyable challenge of looking for objects in the book that begin with the letter “O.”  (IVP Kids)

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