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TAKE HEART, MY CHILD by Ainsley Earhardt


A Mother's Dream

by Ainsley Earhardt with Kathryn Cristaldi ; illustrated by Jaime Kim

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4814-6622-6
Publisher: Aladdin

A mother’s poem to her newborn child by Earhardt, one of FOX News Channel’s co-hosts of Fox & Friends, with the assistance of Cristaldi.

In a series of mostly quatrain stanzas, a mother encourages her child to dive into life and not lose heart at the roadblocks ahead. Unfortunately the poem is a never-ending succession of stale platitudes: “May you never grow tired / Of stretching your branches / Dare to be different / Don’t deny second chances” is followed, predictably, by “And when winter comes / And leaves fall and fade / Take heart, my child, / Don’t be afraid.” Likewise, the nominally freeing “May you strive to be happy / Change your course if you’re not / Embrace the world’s colors / Colors others forgot” is again followed by its predictable counterpart: “But if you grow lonely / Or stars disappear / Take heart, my child, / I will always be near.” Much of the imagery feels driven more by the need to fit scansion and rhyme than sense, as when the narrator describes dreaming “a love song / Near a grand deer ballet” (rhyming with “day”). Kim’s luminous watercolor-and-digital illustrations feature a dark-haired, light-skinned woman in ethereal surroundings, presumably the mother dreaming her hopes for her child. The child is also there at times, as is plenty of nature that goes hand in hand with the accompanying text. Beautiful illustrations, though, are not enough to breathe life into this well-meaning but trite poem.

This treacle-sweet book feels like an extended greeting card.

(author’s note) (Picture book. 6-10)