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Thursday, January 24, 2019

#NetGalley Book Review: A Flicker of Hope by Julia Cook, MacKenzie Haley (Illustrator)

This is an encouraging book to share with children.
A Flicker of Hope
by Julia Cook (Author), MacKenzie Haley (Illustrator)
Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: 3 - 4
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: National Center for Youth Issues (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1937870522
Genre: Children, Emotions, Self-Esteem and Self-Respect
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

HOPE is our children's window for a better tomorrow. In terms of resilience and well-being, hope is a critically important predictor of success. This creative story from the best-selling author of My Mouth is a Volcano!, and Bubble Gum Brain, reminds children that dark clouds can be temporary and asking for help is always okay. We all have times when we need to borrow a little hope from someone else.
When your clouds get too dark,
and too heavy to push away,
Reach out and ask, Can I borrow some light?
I'm having a really bad day.
It's always okay to admit to yourself,
I just can't do it today.
Everyone needs somebody sometimes,
to help them find their way.
Sometimes the dark clouds overhead seem too heavy and you feel like giving up. Little candle knows all about this. Bad grades, blasted on social media, worried about making the team, and wondering who her real friends are so many hard things to deal with! All she can see is darkness. But her story begins to change when someone notices she needs a boost of hope. As little candle is reminded she has purpose and her own unique gifts, and that she isn't the only one with dark clouds, her dim light begins to shine brighter.

This hopeful story emphasizes for children (and adults) the many different ways to ask for help, and their ability to be a hope builder for others, too.

Little candle is going through a time of stress and depression. She has many worries and thoughts of inadequacies. Another candle sees that Little candle’s light is dim. This older candle steps up to encourage Little candle, telling her of her own uniqueness and the fact that she can ask for help. The older candle shares her light to brighten Little candle. Having been encouraged, Little candle turns and shares encouragement with another candle who is struggling with low flickering.

I enjoyed the encouraging message in this children’s book. The message is repeated but I think that is okay because it reinforces that everyone goes through times when they could use a little help or boost from others.

The illustrations are bright, colorful and engaging. I like the different shapes of the candles which is consistent with all of us being different. I think this is a lovely book for parents to share with children and then I can imagine a child going back to the story to look through the images on their own. Even if they can't read, they can remember the lesson they were taught. I recommend this to all parents but especially those who may have a sensitive child who needs to know that it is okay to reach out for encouragement from others.

Source: 2019 NetGalley. This qualifies for 2019TBR, 2019NetGalley and 2019Alphabet Goals.


  1. Great review. I think this book would be a good book for everyone to read, especially children who have a hard time asking for help.

  2. hi there am lisa i really like your work i also recommend you to read this blog it also very help full for me
    art work


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