I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt
I SHARE WITH with you two of my favorite children’s books of this past year.
“I Wish You More” is a charming book about hope. It is a little sad but very sweet. The authors were winners of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Book of the Year Award for children with their previous work, “Duck-Rabbit.”
This attractive little book is about life’s simple joys and small victories. It is a compendium of wishes such as: “I wish you more give than take,” “I wish you more pause than fast-forward,” and “I wish you more umbrella than rain.” The pictures are adorable, my favorite being the one of a little boy on the beach with his pockets full of seashells.
This gem would make an excellent gift for a friend to cheer them up. The message is positive, the art is cute, and the whole thing is uplifting. This is a Parent’s Choice Recommended Award winner.
“Bug in a Vacuum” is about a fly sucked into a vacuum cleaner. His entire life is changed by this emotional journey. The thing is – the book is based on the Kubler-Ross Five Stages of Grief. This makes it a good read for adults and children. From denial of his situation to bargaining for escape, and then a promise to change behavior, the fly makes the same mental journey many people experience when faced with a negative life event.
The art is retro, 1950ish. From the big-eyed dog to the flappy-winged housefly the pictures are captivating. Readers won’t believe what all is in the canister vac. The small dog is longing for his stuffed pet which is captured along with the insect. To add to the trauma, the vacuum is discarded and taken to the dump. This leads to the fly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
With household products representing the grief stages the reader is introduced to a can of denial, and ounce of doubt, and a gallon of disbelief. Anyone who has been to a place of despair will identify with the main character whose “life is a mess” and whose “dreams are crushed.” This is a book about appreciating what you have.
Sometimes the most ingenuous literary messages come from the realm of children’s literature.
Emerald Isle Books