MY HEART by Corinna Luyken
Kirkus Star

MY HEART

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lucid verse and transcendent monotype prints masterfully express how a heart can be “a window…a slide…closed / or opened up wide.”

Soothing, simple phrasing and masterful printmaking harness metaphors to make a heart’s complexity accessible to children just recognizing its many manifestations. Recurring rhyme provides an ideal cadence for reading aloud and also a reassuring assertion: Feelings can change from one moment to the next, your heart might sometimes be “cloudy and heavy with rain,” but just as the verse returns to rhyme, a heart can right itself. It "can grow,” and it “can mend, / and a heart that is closed can still open again.” Double-page spreads, inky with coal blacks and smudgy graphite grays, find luminosity and searing beauty through the introduction of a single color, an undauntedly optimistic ginkgo yellow that surges and glows. Pencil work adds specificity (freckles, eyeglasses, buttons, blades of grass) and sometimes emotional jaggedness (pelting rain, a steep, rickety slide). Young readers will see themselves in this impressive book’s children, kids of all racial backgrounds, who hide behind closed curtains, trudge through rain, extend a bouquet of small heart-shaped flowers, stand under the protective boughs of a wondrous tree. The final pages acknowledge a heart’s myriad, sometimes-incongruous roles (“a shadow, / a light, and a guide”) and joyfully assert our own, ultimate self-governance: “Closed or open… // I get to decide.”

Sensitive, stunning words and pictures speak directly to young hearts. (Picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2793-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2018




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