Review: Pear of Hope

Anna spends a lot of time beneath the pear tree playing, enjoying its wonder, climbing with friends, swinging on branches, embracing the trunk and sitting in its shade.

The wonder disappeared when the clouds rolled in.

The darkness that comes with sickness and the time spent in bed waiting for it to pass, is visually portrayed by the changing of the seasons: 

Anna felt like something was missing… like a tree bare, standing against the cold…

And the sickness passed. Anna is able to go again to the pear tree and embrace it, beneath the branches covered in buds that promise new life.

A butterfly wings past and Anna knows her hair will grow back again in time.

The buds have burst and become blossoms on the pear tree. Anna has company as she lies on a blanket beneath the snow-white flowers that drop their petals on, and around her.

When the pears appear, Anna finds a seed in the fruit she eats. She plants it and waters it every day. As it grows, so does Anna’s hair, and her strength, and her hope.

Wenda Shurety has created a story full of hope and love for children and others in times of severe illness. Her use of the pear tree as a metaphor for the passing of time needed for growth and change, is perfect. This is juxtaposed superbly with the changes in Anna – her sickness, her loss of hair, then its regrowth that symbolises her recovery.

The stunning, full page illustrations by Deb Hudson, transform the text into poetic movement. The immersive visual narrative makes use of the weather, the seasons to imply time as a healer. Her illustrations do justice to the powerful alliteration used to describe nature and Anna’s emotions.

 I loved the dog that was in the story; silent, loyal and supportive. I also loved the addition of the symbolism of the pear added on the last page of the book. It was a beautiful touch to a superb book.

Title: Pear of Hope
Author: Wenda Shurety
Illustrator: Deb Hudson
Publisher: Exisle, $ 24.99
Publication Date:1 May 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925820867
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book

June 28, 2021 at 12:33AM Anastasia Gonis