Good evening, readers,
Tell you what, I am having a terrible time keeping my book challenge prompts straight! Should be simple enough, right? Look at the challenge graphic, find a book that fits the prompt for the month, read and review it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Or not so much. The trouble is I am reading the books in one month and writing about them in the next. So, I get all mixed up. It’s a shame that’s all it takes to mix me up these days! Ha!
So, checking the “Book by Book” prompt for April, I see that I was to read a children’s book for April.
So far, so good. But then I get confused when I write my review post. Writing it in April but for Tuesday, 05.01, but the prompt was for last month. Is this an April post or a May post or an April post posted in May?
Whatevs, let’s get on with the review! The book I chose to read is Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream by Ainsley Earhardt. This seemed like the perfect book to read in April for Mother’s Day in May. This coming Sunday, in fact, 05.08. Just to confuse things even more.
If the author’s name sounds familiar to you, it might be because she is a news anchor on the Fox News Channel. Ainsley is also a new mommy. And she wrote this debut picture book to encourage parents to pass along lessons to their children about following one’s heart, staying strong and daring to be different.
Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream
The Fine Print
- Age Range: 4 – 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool – 3
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Aladdin; 3rd edition (November 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-13: 978-1481466226
- Amazon average customer review:
- Goodread’s average customer review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
The editorial reviews of this book are not glowing. Probably because the book’s theme has been done many times before. I found it interesting that Amazon and Goodreads included only customer reviews in their blurbs about Take Heart, My Child.
From two review sources:
Beautiful illustrations, though, are not enough to breathe life into this well-meaning but trite poem. This treacle-sweet book feels like an extended greeting card. ~”Kirkus”, 09/05/2016
Though the advice can be syrupy or overfamiliar … Earhardt’s you-can-do-it message is consistently encouraging. ~”Publisher’s Weekly”, 09/19/2016
But there are many very positive customer reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and even some left in response to these lukewarm editorial reviews. I think book reviewers are kind of like movie critics. Often when they love a book, no one else does!
Take Heart, My Child is a lyrical lullaby, and Ainsley shares her own hopes and dreams, and lets her child know that whatever challenges life brings, “Take heart, my child, I will—or, my love will—always be there for you.” It’s a universal message, one that all readers will relate to.
But if you grow lonely,
Or stars disappear
Take heart, my child,
I will always be near.
My babies are all grown up, and mommies to their own baby girls. And I am all grown up (or try to be) and a mommy and grandma, too. But I find it reassuring to think that my mom will always be near. And that I will always be near to my daughters.
This is a beautiful book. In part because of the sentiment, and the word pictures painted by Earhardt’s poetry. A text that encourages children to reach for their dreams and follow their hearts, to take the hard way round sometimes. To try again. And to be assured that love will always hold them up.
Again, this is a beautiful book in part because of the magical watercolor art of illustrator Jaime Kim. The illustrations are luminously translucent washes of color. Some in warm golds, ochres and oranges. Others in cool ocean blues and frosty pinks and purples. It’s true, the theme is familiar but so is a mother’s love. It is a global language, something we all know about. And something so many of us are blessed to know personally.
So what if Take Heart, My Child isn’t an edgy piece of literary satire. There’s more than enough of that in the world, if you ask me. I will take sweet as molasses and overly familiar any day. It’s like a mother’s love. Like a soft blanket, a favorite pair of jeans. It’s comfortable, warm, reassuring. But you be the judge. Here are two screenshots from my Kindle version of the book.
Earhardt has written a sequel to Take Heart, My Child entitled Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me. Both titles are available through Amazon.
With Mother’s Day this weekend, (oops, just realized it’s next weekend!!!) what are your plans for the mothers in your life? This and Father’s Day are difficult days for PC and me. I am not the mother of his children and he isn’t the father of mine. Sadly, I don’t have real relationships with my step children.
All 4 of our children were teens or young adults when we married. My daughter Lauren and PC’s son Matt lived us with for a couple of years while she finished college and he finished high school. But there’s not really that parental relationship for either of us with the other’s kids. And all 4 of our children live out of town. So Sunday will be pretty much just like Saturday. Except I am so thankful to be Brennyn Alexis and Lauren Allegra’s mommy. Forever and always.
Whatever your plans, may Sunday be a peaceful, especially blessed day for you.
Hugs and kisses,