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IN THE HEART by Ann Turner


by Ann Turner & illustrated by Salley Mavor

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-023730-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

A genuine tea-cozy of a picture book: warm and reassuring. A Valentine’s Day in the life of a little girl, who wakes up on a February morning knowing “the heart of the day is the sun.” The heart of the house is the kitchen, where she sits with her muffin, her little brother in his high chair, and her mother with a cup of cocoa. The heart of the town is her school, she says, festooned as it is with Valentines for all. Her friend, to hold hands and share secrets with, is the heart of the afternoon, and at night, the moon rests on her friend, her street, her mother’s muffin bowl, and herself. The lyrical text, with its sweet knowledge of what’s important, is served by the collage art with the heart motif seen everywhere from the school bus of Hartsville to the knobs on the child’s chest of drawers. The textures are rich: knit and felt fabrics, embroidery, buttons, papers, and lace, all cunningly arranged with a fine eye for design as well as for the feel of the story. The narrator’s family, with dark hair and milky-brown skin tones, might be Latino; her friend has blonde braids. Their neighborhood, with its winter-bare trees and hopscotch sidewalks, is a town of small houses and backyard swings. As comforting as a hot drink on a cold day. (Picture book. 4-8)