Title: Hope Learns to Jump Rope | Author: Amy Cancryn | Illustrator: Vladislava Burova | Publication Date: December 18, 2013 | Publisher: Firebrand Publishing | Pages: 30 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: Let me introduce you, to a little girl called Hope. She didn’t want to start first grade until she could jump rope. Excited by the skipping rope from her loving father, Hope tries to jump rope. But soon realizes, jumping rope was harder than she’d ever imagined. She tries and tries and tries but is ready to give up, until ….Hope learns the secret to success. Her hard earned success is utterly joyous, and serves as a positive and totally enjoyable inspiration for readers of all ages. Hope Learns To Jump Rope is a motivational story focused on the most basic of positive character traits. She displays the ability to work hard, and persevere. Hope overcomes the desire to give up, and ultimately succeeds.
My Thoughts: Hope Learns to Jump Rope is a rhyming picture book about a little girl who is ashamed that she can’t jump rope. When we first meet Hope, she is determined to learn to jump rope in time to start first grade, but after a few failed attempts, she gives up. Through gentle encouragement from her mother and a tiny fairy, Hope begins to believe in herself. Through hard work and perseverance, she succeeds and proudly shows off her rope jumping skills to her new classmate whom she then teaches in turn.
I really enjoyed the simple message behind this sweet book, as delivered by the tiny fairy: “…believing you can do it and not giving up is key.” As parents, we have all witnessed our children take their first steps, utter their first word, go potty for the first time, and succeed at learning all kinds of new skills. With the joy that comes in seeing our children succeed is the discouragement and frustration they experience when they fail. The repeated failures were depicted so well in the story and I’m sure children who are trying to master a new skill will be able to relate to Hope’s experience.
The illustrations are beautiful with their use of soft pastel colors. The little girl Hope is an African-American girl. As we are just coming off the recent Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I was pleased to see a book featuring a non-Caucasian main character, struggling with learning a new skill in the same way any child would, irrespective of their cultural background. It is a rather universal concept that children struggle when learning and honing new skills. While I did find that some of the illustrations were a bit repetitive, overall I found them to be very sweet and perfectly appropriate to the accompanying text.
If a picture book features rhyming, you know I’m going to comment on it one way or the other. Overall, I felt the rhyming worked very well with the story. That being said, I did also feel like there were a few rough spots with regards to meter.
The story starts when Hope turned six,
the present from her dad
Was a shiny new pink skipping rope,
she couldn’t be more glad.
While I may be a harsh critic, I also realize that getting rhyme and meter right is a very, very difficult thing to do. As a note to authors in general, issues with meter really come up when you are reading a verse for the first time. When you’ve re-read a book many times, you are already familiar with the rhythm and you know which syllables to emphasize. I can now read the above verse without stumbling, but when I first read it, it came out all wrong. I think that authors should have someone completely unfamiliar with the story read it out loud and the problems will become more apparent. Regardless, I thought that overall, the author did a great job!
My Bottom Line: Hope Learns to Jump Rope is a sweet rhyming picture book about positive self-affirmation, determination, and perseverance in children learning a new skill. I loved that the book featured an African-American girl as the main character and felt that the illustrations were very sweet. Overall, the rhyming was well-done, but the meter was a bit off in a couple of spots. I think this would be a great book to read to a kindergarten or early elementary classroom, in a library reading circle, or just at home with a parent or grandparent reading to a child. Ages 3+.
* This book was provided to me by the author free-of-charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. The author is participating in MDBR’s promotional services.
“This book is the perfect motivational tool. It is short enough to keep the attention of a young child and yet the simple life lesson it teaches is something that we as adults need to be reminded of. Perfect for any child having confidence issues.” ~ 5 Star Review, Karma, Amazon
“This children’s book can be an inspiration to us all. Like the “Little Train that Could” our new friend, Hope, is having some problems with her confidence. She sets and goal for herself and with a little help from her parents and even a magical visitor she learns to achieve her goals and learn that anything is possible when you believe in yourself.” ~ 5 Star Review, George W., Amazon
“Very well written children’s book by Amy Cancryn that make them motivational and confidence in any of activities they do. It’s really supportive for children as it contains with rhyming words and beautiful illustrations too that the children love a lot. This writing goes similar with the children’s mind as they would definitely love to read this. I bought this for my sister’s daughter and she loved this a lot.” ~ 5 Star Review, Liyonala, Amazon
About the Author: Amy Cancryn
Amy Cancryn is a little introverted, but fun (when she decides to loosen up a bit.) She fell in love with reading in elementary school and continued to devour books whether she worked for a toy store, retail clothing store, International Banking Company, sold cars or cosmetics.
Amy has a seven year old daughter who is going on sixteen, and a almost two year old son who thinks he’s a mini man. Amy lives with her wonderful husband Gregory, who has to put up with Amy constantly forgetting their wedding anniversary. (He forgets too.)
Amy works with her husband (and no, neither of them have tried to kill the other…yet) in a suburb outside of Atlanta, where they currently live. Hope Learns to Jump Rope is her first book.
* Giveaway *
Prize: There will be three winners:
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Contest runs: February 13 to March 2, 11:59 pm, 2014
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