Rhymes of Hope to Shout Together
By: Bruno Tognolini
Illustrated by: Giulia Orecchia
Translated by: Denise Muir
Published: March 22, 2022
Publisher: Red Comet Press
Bruno Tognolini is a beloved children’s poet in Italy and his book includes 24 rhymes of hope for kids all over the world. Each poem ends with the word “Imagine!” so kids can join in quite early with the reading. Also, introducing children to poetry at an early age helps them notice inflections in speech and understand that some words rhyme.
Some of the poems are generally hoping for days that are happy and peaceful or full of joy, or simply that all of our wishes are granted. But, some of the poems have a much deeper and grownup meaning behind them.
It is due to the heavy nature of some of these poems that I caution this particular picture book for younger readers. I would not read this book with preschool or lower elementary-aged children. A few of the poems had a painful tone including one about a father with depression looking for a job, another about a child who is bullied, and one about a closed border and people drowning as they try to get across.
Because of these particular poems, I can’t give this a fully positive review. I would not be comfortable reading this to a classroom of children. But, in your home, you can choose to have real conversations about the topics mentioned in the poems. I also noticed some of the rhymings were not spot on, likely due to the translation into English.
The collage-style of illustrations reminded me a bit of Eric Carle and they were vivid and related well to the poems.
There were definitely some poems in the book that I enjoyed and appreciated the message. But, I would caution parents to read through first to prepare for questions and discussion after reading.
Click HERE for downloadable resources and for musical versions of the book.
Andersen Award winner, Bruno Tognolini has published over fifty books for children. He has also written for tv, film, and the stage; and now, for the first time, his work appears in English with the publication of Imagine! Check out his website, HERE.
Guilia Orecchia is an award-winning children’s illustrator of numerous books for publishers around the world, becoming one of the most recognizable Italian illustrators with her vibrant, distinctive collage style. Check out her website, HERE.