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IN MY HEART by Jo Witek Kirkus Star


A Book of Feelings

From the Growing Hearts series

by Jo Witek ; illustrated by Christine Roussey

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1310-1
Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Vibrant die cuts, whimsical drawings, and a text that explores a wide range of feelings with just the right touches of imagination and wit combine for a most impressive picture-book experience.

Readers will be attracted right away to the rainbow hues of the multilayered die-cut hearts that recede inward from the cover. The device entices readers to turn the page and enter into an exploration of emotion. An expressive girl explains: “My heart is like a house, with all these feelings living inside.” On the facing page, the shape of a house surrounds the interior die-cut hearts. With each page turn, emotions from happiness to sadness, bravery to fear, anger to calm are displayed. Witek expertly utilizes similes to help young readers grasp the concepts; a bright yellow star represents happiness, but a red cross with a bandage on it is emblematic of a broken heart when feelings have been hurt. When the girl’s heart is “silly,” she is “like a bouncy bunny.” At other times her heart is “as heavy as an elephant” or hopeful, “like a plant reaching toward the sky.” As the pages turn, the hearts get smaller and smaller, until the final spread shows a garden with dozens of hearts. Readers are left to answer a question: “How does your heart feel?”

Consider this beautifully designed French import a must-have for any storytime or one-on-one sharing regarding the somewhat sticky subject of feelings.

(Picture book. 3-8)