I am currently reading “Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” by Jane Goodall and Doug Abraham and it seems a very appropriate read for the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. Jane Goodall, a global icon in the world of conservation, at 88 years of age is still hopeful that we, the human species, can turn the world into a better place despite the tough problems that seem to surround us. The list of problems is long: climate change, loss of habit for wild animals, racism, lack of biodiversity, poverty, and housing issues for many people…..but she still believes that we have the power to heal this world and ourselves.
She has worked tirelessly to educate and encourage people to make positive changes in the world for most of her life. In the more than 50 books that she has written, hope is an underlying tenet. As long as we are hopeful and work hard toward our goals, change can and will happen. Change often starts with small acts of kindness and compassion to improve individual worlds, which in turn make our communities better which trickles out into the world.
So as I move into 2023, here are a few of my hopes. I hope to have my third picture book published. This book talks about the problems in Ukraine. The illustrator of this picture book as well as my other picture books is Ukrainian and has suffered through this war having to leave her country to be safe. I say prayers often that her family is safe. My hope for this book is to raise money for evacuees and their families who need help through this crisis. I hope to narrow the gap between us and them. We are all living on this planet. How can we feel like those in other countries are any different from us? I can’t help but feel that all people want to feel safe. They want healthy food to nourish their bodies and clean water to drink. They want the best for their families and friends. They hope for a world that accepts all cultures, religions, and beliefs with an open heart.
I hope that the book project that I am becoming a part of with Brave Heart Publishing will inspire children and encourage them to take action for positive change. This book will be a compilation of short stories for children to read or be read to that will tackle situations that require courage and determination to solve. Hopefully, this book will encourage children to solve their own tough problems with courage and compassion. Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. “Be the change you want to see in the world, “ said Mahama Gandhi.
I walk forward with the hope that this year will bring renewed hope in all people to help build a better world and I hope that we will all be the change we wish to see in the world.
Here is a list of books for kids and adults that might inspire action!
PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT HAVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE curated by What Do We Do All Day?
The Story of Jane Goodall by Susan Katz
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker
Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan Mercè López
The Floating Field by Scott Riley Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien Mel Fell
The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi
One Word from Sophie by Jim Averbeck
Rain! By Linda Ashman
Tomorrow Most Likely by Dave Eggers
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
Terrific by Jon Agee
For parents, here is your book list of inspiring reads:
Seeds of Hope by Jane Good All
Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
No On is too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thornburg
Disclaimer: I personally have not read all of these books but many are on my list or have come highly recommended.