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Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest Hardcover – June 1, 2020
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"What a heartwarming approach to a both a sensitive and current topic! This is a must read for children (and adults) of all ages. This wonderfully written and illustrated book describes the flight of a mother deer and her adorable fawn. The two will win your heart as you root for them to find a safe home in which to thrive. Like many around the world who have been displaced by war, violence and poverty, their only wish is find a better place to live. This book expertly explains the problems refugees face around the world in such a creative way that young readers will instantly bond and have a better understanding of this worldwide problem, laying the groundwork to develop empathy for others. I especially like that the author included a section with questions for further discussion with children. I can't wait to read to my grandchildren."
-Carole Limata, California
"Bill Kiley has given a special gift to families and to educators. For parents desiring to help their little ones understand the issues around the suffering of millions of refugees without fear; for teachers looking for a story to open the discussion on asylum-seekers and immigration: here it is. Children will love gentle Hope and recognize themselves and their friends in Freckles. Mr. Kiley, veteran and officer of the law, reveals here a heart and mind focused on the common good, on compassion, and on possibility. Illustrator Mary Manning brings the tale to rich color page by page. We’ll use the story of Hope and Freckles with the children in our parish church and look forward to the next in the series." -Rev. John McGinty, Massachusetts
"Wow. What a powerful and meaningful way to explain the plight of refugees to children through the story of a mother deer, Hope, and her fawn, Freckles. I found myself getting emotional when I made the connections between this book and what has been happening with refugees in our world. Younger children will empathize with Hope and Freckles story, while older children should be able to grasp the parallels between the book and reality. Everyone, and everything, on this planet deserves to be together in a place where they feel safe, and this book shows this concept to children in a brilliant way." -Sandy Wilmering, Canada
"How do we convey to children the gut-wrenching story of refugees, and consider with them how to respond to their plight? Bill Kiley’s first book, Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a New Forest, offers a moving, helpful allegory. Picture books give to children (and their caregivers) something analogous to a box of crayons or sleeve of tempera paint: an enticing palette of ideas and emotions, even wisdom, that we can use to sketch out what we most value. Empathy, courage, resilience, humor, honesty, accountability to self and others were each embodied in the stack of dog-eared favorites we kept beside our daughter’s bed or in a basket by the “cozy chair,” as she called it. In one way or another, each of those books humanized us, holding up a mirror to who we are and who we hope to be—Hope and Freckles is one of those stories." -Rev. David Ware, Maryland
"It is amazing when a book can inspire more than hope, can inspire aid and hopefully change for the better, can inspire children to grow up wanting to be a part of help to the far-flung without homes, who learn to accept new children into their midst with open arms and play fields. We cannot know what world comes, but we can know it will be different and at times incredibly scary and inequitable and of trial . This book brings hope and widens the view of the child. Why read it to your comfortable child? Because books like this birth heart, compassion, kindness, open mindedness, justice, fairness. And so much more."-Kat Caric, California
"This book is well written and beautifully illustrated and it is a topic that typically isn't well covered for young children. Research shows that we are raising generations of children lacking compassion. But how do you "teach" compassion? Well for one thing you model it, but you also need to have conversations about it. Someone might be critical because this book features talking deer, but using animals softens a difficult subject matter for young children. I bought this book for all my young grandchildren and I recommend it to everyone." -Suzeebeezee, California
About the Author
As the grandfather of five granddaughters, Bill knows the powerful impact that children's picture books can have on young minds. So, at seventy years of age, motivated by his heart and his head, Mr. Kiley decided to write a children's picture book that addresses the plight of refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world. His book, Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest, is the first of a planned series.
- Grade Level : 2 - 5
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Hardcover : 38 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1645432548
- ISBN-13 : 978-1645432548
- Product Dimensions : 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
- Publisher : Mascot Books (June 1, 2020)
- Reading level : 6 - 10 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #374,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The topic is not easy. “Hope and Freckles” softens the reality of human migration with the migration of animals, but the message translates to the experience of our neighbors. It does not, however, trivialize the horrors faced by so many today.
This is not a book for a child to read alone. It is an invitation to a sensitizing conversation and invitation to grow in awareness of the world we inhabit.
I believe this book is not only a good read for parents and their children, but would also be a great asset for other community groups to use in their educational programs. At the end of the book, there are resources and questions for discussion that are helpful guides in this process.
Speaking as a retired pediatric RN, mother and grandmother, I want to highly recommend this well written book to others who want to open the hearts and minds of our children, the future of our world. I look forward to reading and sharing new books in this series with the young people in my life!
When a white-tailed deer, Hope, and her fawn, Freckles, are forced to leave the forest they’ve lived in because of the danger around them from others, and the dwindling of food sources, they find themselves on a long journey. A journey they hope will bring them to not only a safer place, but once they arrive at the new forest, they are faced with a tall fence, and guards saying they already have too many of their kind there, and that ”you just want to eat our food and do nothing to earn it.” Hope explains that she came for her fawn, that their food and water sources have almost evaporated, and begs them to please, let them in.
The next day the guards tell them that they may stay, but only for a little while. Shortly after, Freckles is taken from her mother, and Fawn is forced to leave, more or less in a cage, and they have to wait for the General to decide their future.
There is another message here as this story comes to a close, a mother reminding her child to always remember to be grateful for the life they have, but the bigger message – to me, anyway - seemed more aimed at adults for a picture book written and illustrated for very young children, even though the message is an important one.
At the end of this book are questions parents can pose to their children, in the hopes that the message of this book will lead to conversations, and compassion about the issues facing refugees.
Many thanks for the ARC provided by Mascot Books
The first thing that struck me was that the illustrations were of a good quality. As a children's librarian, it is always what I look for first in a picture book. If the art work draws me in, then I read the book.
I read the entire story, noting the illustrations and the way they informed that story. Then I looked at the author's resources. Though the resources were not cited according to MLA or APA guidelines in all cases, there appeared to be a healthy list of educator resources. In exploring each and every one (on the website,) I noticed that the term Human Trafficking came up, but was not listed in the vocabulary of "Useful Definitions for Young Readers."
The audience seemed to be elementary students, however this was not consistent throughout. The illustrations, while certainly professional, portray authority figures in an unattractive way. The story appears to be about the US/Mexcio border, but doesn't mention resources consistent with that subject. The intent here was pure and meant to be helpful and informative. This book would be well served in concert with other resources about refugees. Amazon provides an excellent list of available picture books, as does the American Library Association.
There is also a statement when the guards say. "We don't want you here." I hate to think that we don't want the deer in our forest - but that we want to make sure that the forest has enough grass to feed all the deer coming in.
This book is thought provoking and leaves much to discuss with your children.
I actually love books that cause children and parents to dig deep. Even my fourteen-year-old got into this discussion after reading the book. We Googled and researched current border policies to find what the truth is today. How much progress has been made. Are children still separated from their parents.
Then we took a right turn and started discussing refugees and how other countries are not safe and what options do people have other than to find a new home. WOW- then their dad (who is a Marine) got into the debate- talking about protecting people in other countries all while keeping our nation safe.
Good stuff - Not an easy subject- But I like that. As parents we need to tackle the hard stuff with our kids. This book is great for the older kids to. In fact, the older ones got into it more than the 1st and 2nd graders.
I received a copy to do an honest review