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[Saturday Reads] Matthew Cordell’s “Family/Wish” Series

"Wish," "Dream," and "Hope."


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

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Wish (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2015) ISBN: 9781484708750 (ISBN10: 148470875X) Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Dream (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2015) ISBN: 9781484708750 (ISBN10: 148470875X) Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Hope (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell Publisher: Disney Hyperion (2019) ISBN: 9781484773413 (ISBN10: 1484773411). Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

I generally avoid sappy, sentimental stories that do more for parents than children. However, there is something in Matthew Cordell’s Family / Wish series that moved me deeply. It could be the pandemic that made me perceive feel-good, warm, thoughtful stories such as these in a different light. I suspect, however, that it is really Cordell’s masterful delivery, intention, and delicate maneuvering that nudged my soul a bit, despite my jaded reader sensibilities.

From “Wish” by Matthew Cordell.

The first book, Wish, explores the journeys of a couple wishing for a child, and all the quiet waiting and anticipation that this yearning brings – and the inevitable frustration and sadness the waiting sometimes engenders.

From “Dream” by Matthew Cordell.

Dream is, perhaps, the title that resonated with me deeply – since we are now empty nesters, our only daughter off to “explore unknown places” and be who she is meant to become as she attends university in Seattle. Here, the parents’ dreams for their child – from infancy to adulthood – is captured so poignantly.

From “Hope” by Matthew Cordell.

The last book in the series, Hope, is a loveletter of grandparents to their grandchild which includes nuggets of wisdom from their twilight years. What I especially love about this book is when the grandchild found her voice towards the end, with the declaration that:

Your greatest wish,

your greatest dream,

your greatest hope,

lives in me.

As I grow older, I find these affirming and encouraging words that ooze with kindness and good intentions even more important given the chaotic world we live in. They provide comfort and a place to land.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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