Rhyming verse and sweet-tempered artwork by Luyken (The Book of Mistakes) explore childhood emotions through images of the heart. Children of different ages and colors are seen playing, exploring. When they’re overtaken by sadness or loneliness, they find comfort in the company of others: “My heart is a window,/ my heart is a slide./ My heart can be closed/ or opened up wide.” One remorseful-looking girl shows her mother a vase. It’s broken—and so is her heart. A page turn reveals the restored vase on a table. The girl opens the blinds to let the sunshine in, finding that “broken can mend,/ and a heart that is closed/ can still open again.” Fences, stains, and quiet whispers become metaphors for feelings. Accepting companionship heals and helps children grow: “Closed or open... I get to decide,” the book finishes, with a spread of a smiling girl, arms thrown wide. Flashes of brilliant yellow illuminate smudgy black-and-white drawings, and heart forms can be found everywhere, in ironwork, tiny seedlings, and stars. The abstract nature of Luyken’s meditation will draw readers receptive to thoughtful examination; others may be left puzzled. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018 Release date: 01/08/2019 Genre: Children's
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