cover image How to Mend a Heart

How to Mend a Heart

Sara Gillingham. Random, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-553-51093-5

Gillingham follows the tend-friends-like-plants metaphor of How to Grow a Friend with a book built around the idea that with “gentle hands, the right tools, and lots of patches,” one can fix emotional hurts. Her hero is a boy whose stuffed elephant has been torn to bits by a puppy, and she shows him stitching the toy back together over several pages. Smartly, the story emphasizes that this process isn’t instantaneous or even permanent (the elephant suffers subsequent damage, requiring additional fixes), but the message of hope and persistence comes through strongly, yet with a light touch. Ages 3–7. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Dec.)