LAUREL, MD. There are many books out there that talk about our wishes for children. Many titles as well focus on what their future may bring. Some of these children’s books go barely noticed by parents and children alike. Others, like the classic Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, become enduring classics. My Wish for You by Kathryn Hahn is both a book and a love letter to little girls. It captures the kind of life and spirit many parents fervently desire for their child.
But Hahn conveys her message in a way that makes it likely to become a staple not only on bookstore shelves, but also on that growing children’s bookshelf many parents have at home.
My Wish for You conveys a message that’s never too early to hear
The message of My Wish for You is simple, gracious and easy to grasp. Hahn’s message: you are enough. So be yourself. She offers that message with remarkable simplicity and directness.
“My wishes for you are many. But the top of the wishes: I want you to be you. And wherever you go, I hope you will always remember the YOU that you are right now.”
The book provides reminders and encourages children not to lose that sense of wonder and playfulness one can first experience in childhood. But the advice the author provides to young children doesn’t focus on selling useless platitudes and unrealistic encouragements. Instead, the author encourages kids to explore the positives in life. Useful positives, such as curiosity, fearlessness, exploration and friendships. But at the same time, the book gives young readers permission to cry, be shy, be afraid and value having time alone.
In My Wish for You, Kathryn Hahn encourages girls to be their own best selves. While employing many of the messages of encouragement we are accustomed to hearing on a frequent basis, Hahn’s book also encourages youngsters to fail, but also not to fear getting back up and trying again.
Her book also advocates self-respect, not only with regard to each child’s unique body image. It also supports and encourages children to maintain their individuality. Perhaps most intriguingly, the author encourages her young readers to make sure that others earn the right to be their friends. A child who values herself should not just give herself away.
Vibrant illustrations by Brigette Barrager
Brigette Barrager’s colorful illustration depict vibrant children of all types. These girls are happy being themselves and doing all the things children do. They climb trees, take baths and play with friends. Even when they are shouting or crying to express their emotions, the girls in the pictures are drawn in a way that conveys genuine emotion.
While this book targets girls, there is no reason that it isn’t equally relevant to boys. In fact, the message is relevant to all children, because everyone can be influenced by external pressures, whether it comes from friends, parents or social expectations. Being told it is okay to be who you are is important. When children hear this regularly from an earlier age, they are more likely to accept it as truth.
My Wish for you is available now
My Wish for You by Kathryn Hahn and illustrated by Brigette Barrager is available as a hardcover picture book published by Scholastic Books. Officially, the publisher recommends this book for children ages 4-8. But in reality, there is no age too young to begin absorbing this book’s positive message and taking it to heart. Publication date, officially, is February 4, 2019. But the is available now in many bookstores and on Amazon. ISBN: 9781338150407
— Headline image: Jacket illustration by Brigette Barrager for My Wish for You by Kathryn Hahn. Fair use for book review.