Caramel is growing up: even though he started the book bunnies blog as a little bunny reading and reviewing picture books, he has in the intervening years moved on to chapter books and eventually more traditional novels and even encyclopedias. However he still enjoys reading and talking about picture books. Today he reviews Hope and Fortune, a picture book by Marissa Bañez published in 2023. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
The book bunnies received this book as a review copy.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, why don’t you start by telling us what this book is about?
Caramel: This book is about a girl named Esperanza who goes into a forest following a butterfly and gets lost. Then she meets twelve fairies who tell her things, and they help her find her way out.
S: The twelve fairies are all different, right?
C: Yes. They are all fairies of different things. For example, there is the Fairy of Innocence and Wonder. And that is the only one who is a boy. All the other fairies are female.
S: Yes, that is true. Good observation, Caramel! What else do you notice about the fairies?
C: They are each representing some good thing. There is one who represents strength and courage; that one looks like an Asian warrior. Then there is one who represents wisdom and intelligence.
S: That one has gray hair and is holding a book or a binder in her hand which has the symbol of Princeton University.
C: I did not notice that.
S: Actually, I think that each page is full of interesting details. For example, all the fairies seem to have some animal companion.
C: Not really. Almost all do. But the first one, the Fortune Fairy of Hope, and the last one, the Fortune Fairy of Love and Friendship, do not.
S: Hmm, again, good observing Caramel. I liked the animal companions, but I guess not all of them have them. By the way, that fairy of love and friendship reminded me of Boticelli’s famous painting, The Birth of Venus.
C: Yes, I can see the oyster shell, and the way they are holding themselves resemble one another!
S: You are right! The arm positions are the same!
C: Of course the fairy in the book is not naked.
S: Yes. I suppose it would not be appropriate otherwise, even though the ancient Greek gods and goddesses were often depicted naked, so Boticelli’s painting makes sense in that context.
C: Wait! Venus is Roman!
S: Yes, thank you for correcting me. I should have known to be more careful talking with you about Greek and Roman mythologies…
C: Well, Marshmallow knows a lot more than I do about them.
S: But you are not that bad yourself!
C: Well, I try.
S: Let us get back to the book. What did you think about the script?
C: Each page is one page picture and the other a poem. The fairies all speak in rhyme.
S: Yes, I noticed that, too. A lot of picture books have rhyming text, and it makes them more fun to read out loud and more fun to listen, I think.
C: I can see that.
S: So when do you think one should read this book?
C: I think maybe when a little bunny is feeling down, they might feel lost, and then this book might help them. So maybe a parent bunny can read it to them.
S: Yes,. I agree that that could be useful. It does offer some good advice to lift a sad person’s spirits.
C: Yes. For example, the Fortune Fairy of Respect and Dignity tells Esperanza to “value yourself” and “don’t give others the power to put you down”. The Fortune Fairy of Confidence tells her to “be proud of everything that you accomplish”.
S: And the Fortune Fairy of Wisdom and Intelligence tells her to “remember that you learn the most from things that are hard.”
C: You keep telling me that, too.
S: Yes, I do. Because I believe it is really true.
C: But hard things are hard!
S: I know. So we sprinkle in some fun and take on the hard stuff, too. Because we can do hard things. And then we grow stronger.
C: Well, I will have to take your word for it, because you have lived a lot longer than me.
S: That’s fair. Okay, so let us wrap up the review then. What three words would you use to describe this book?
C: Hopeful, colorful, and rhyming.
S: I think those will work well. And what do you want to tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!
3 thoughts on “Caramel reviews Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez”
I never knew there were so many different kinds of fairies and I always pictured them as being small and winged.
Esperanza means hope in Spanish. Is there a connection between her name and the book’s title?
Yes. The author mentions that at the end of the book. Hope / Esperanza symbolizes her daughter and other young people who might find themselves in a difficult situation, and the Fortune Fairies are ideas and virtues personified, to help guide them during such times.
I’ve heard of the Tooth Fairy, but I didn’t know there were so many other ones. Very interesting.
LikeLiked by 1 person