My heart

Corinna Luyken

Book - 2019

"From moments of great joy and exuberance to necessary times of quiet contemplation, your heart is your guide"--

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Picture books
New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers [2019]
Physical Description
1 volume : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Main Author
Corinna Luyken (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Gray, white, and sunny yellow mark the illustrations of this quiet and charming book. Heart shapes abound throughout, adding an entertaining seek-and-find element: dark clouds, pieces of the leaded-glass windows, a fence, and a giant slide and its shadow all form the shape of heart. In rhyming verse, a young girl tells of how her heart can be open wide and accepting, while, at other times, it is broken and shuttered from everything: "Some days it's a puddle. / Some days it's a stain. / Some days it is cloudy / and heavy with rain." Both the cover and one inside illustration show her planting a heart-shaped seed that, when well tended, can grow large and full, blossoming in heart-shaped flowers. It is up to her how she feels, and whether to keep her heart closed or to open it up to possibilities. Though it leans more toward an adult sensibility, this title offers an opportunity for a heart-to-heart discussion with children about emotions. Grades K-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—This message of this quiet book should be shouted from the rooftops. The theme is elusive at first as are the soft, somewhat tentative pictures. The story begins with a heart in a garden waiting to be nurtured by a little girl. The poetic text describes the heart in a number of unexpected ways. It's a window that can be opened or closed and sometimes it is a puddle or a stain. These metaphorical descriptions move children away from the anatomical and utile aspects of the heart (the pumper of blood with chambers and ventricles, etc.) and offers the idea of the heart as a reflection of the child in the world. The final words carry a lot of power: "I get to decide." The illustrations are crafted with water-based inks and pencils and predominantly feature gray and yellow, dark and light. Throughout, the unifying visual element is a yellow heart in a variety of forms. This can be read to the very youngest of listeners, but even upper elementary children would benefit tremendously from the ideas in this book. Educators can also use this work to show students the different meanings for a single word and the artistic use of metaphor in writing. VERDICT This must-buy for librarians and teachers has myriad educational uses; it begs to be read aloud, and it is a masterful blending of text and illustration.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From moments of great joy and exuberance to necessary times of quiet contemplation, your heart is your guide"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Rhyming text explores emotions, from moments of great joy to times of quiet contemplation, illustrating that each person can control their own feelings guided by their hearts.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An uplifting picture book by the creator of The Book of Mistakes combines lyrical text and evocative artwork in an ode to self-love that explores how the heart can be protectively closed or wide open to love.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy.My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed...or opened up wide.Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.