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Amanda Gorman, the youngest presidential inaugural poet and author of The Hill We Climb and Call Us What We Carry, invites young readers to see the world, despite its problems, with fresh, hope-filled eyes.

As a young boy walks down a city street with his mother, he sees piles of trash surrounding a garbage can. Even though he’s been told it isn’t a problem, he’s sure that something is wrong. The boy knows he can do something to fix the situation. After all, he has seen an ant pull half a donut along the sidewalk, and he understands that “the tiniest things / Make a huge difference.”

The boy starts to collect the garbage and carries it away in his little red wagon. He begins to feel hopeful even though he’s been told not to hope. When he befriends another child, their hope expands as they work together to plant a garden. Even though they face obstacles, their plants flourish and, with the help of several adults, the children’s small beginning becomes a community garden with enough food to share with people in the neighborhood.

Illustrator Christian Robinson’s artwork, which depicts children from different ethnic groups working together to bring about change, complements Gorman’s lyrical prose, which ends on a high note of hope: “Suddenly, there’s something / You’re sure is right. / Something you know / You helped fix. / Something small that changed— / Something big. / Something that worked. / Something that makes you feel / Hopeful, happy, and loved. / Something that is not a dream, / But the day you live in.”

Christian parents and caregivers who share this book with children will recognize biblical themes of hope, creation care, and love. They might possibly find it a helpful springboard to talk with children about how all people, young and old, can do their small part with God’s help to cherish God’s world and each other. (Viking Books for Young Readers)

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