The O in Hope – Luci Shaw

The O in Hope Luci Shaw
The O in Hope by Luci Shaw, Ned Bustard
Also by this author: Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver, Saint Patrick the Forgiver: The History and Legends of Ireland's Bishop, Saint Valentine the Kindhearted: The History and Legends of God's Brave and Loving Servant
Published by IVP Kids on November 2, 2021
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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What do an orangutan, an ostrich, an orange, and the ocean all have in common? They all begin with the letter O! But other words also have an O--words like mouth or moon or wow, and even the word hope. Combining a joyful poem from the much-celebrated poet Luci Shaw with playful cut-paper art created by Ned Bustard, The O in Hope helps us experience the goodness of God's gifts of hope and love. This delightful book can be enjoyed by children and the adults who read with them. Also included is a note from the author to encourage further conversation about the content. Discover IVP Kids and share with children the things that matter to God!

A bright and colorful book for young readers and pre-readers, The O in Hope is designed to draw attention to the roundest of letters—and the goodness of God’s gifts of hope and love. Poet Luci Shaw provides the text, a whimsical poem about the one vowel in Hope and how it is used in a variety of ways. Shaw gets readers to think about the letter as a statement of expression (“Oh!”) or as a shape (of a mouth singing or a round, red cherry). She talks about O as a thing complete, like a wedding ring or a wheel. She explores double o’s and single o’s, long o’s and short o’s.

The text is combined with Ned Bustard’s ingenious illustrations that work with the poem to bring out its meaning visually as well as audibly. It’s meant to be read aloud, but especially read aloud while exploring the illustrations. Each letter O is given a different color in the text, separating it from the black font of their other letters. This makes it a perfect seek-and-find for young pre-readers (Can you find the red O?). It also aids in phonics as adults can ask children if they notice how the O’s can make different sounds.

The O in Hope is meant to be explored more than read. It’s engaging and participatory. It ensures that your child will want to come back to it time and time again. I do wish that the theme of hope tied into the book a little more overtly, as children might miss the subtle undertones in the book’s middle, where the book’s strength becomes language exploration.

Overall, though, this is a fun and bright book. My only question: Will they do the other 25 letters?