THE KEY TO MY HEART by Nira Harel

THE KEY TO MY HEART

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Newcomer Harel recounts a story of a pleasingly ordinary day accompanied by mildly amicable artwork that sports just the right touch. It’s a simple story that nonetheless possesses the tug of affection: A boy and his father puzzling through where the father might have left his keys, retracing his steps after he left work to pick up the boy, Jonathan, at school. The bunch of keys is on a key chain that sports a picture of Jonathan, so the keys are both easily identifiable and special. They troop like a couple of chums from the post office to the pizza place to the greengrocer—all of which might leave readers with a sense that Jonathan’s father leads a pretty cushy existence—but don’t find the keys until they get home and Jonathan’s mother hands them over. Found in the schoolyard, where they fell out of the father’s pocket when he was playing soccer with Jonathan, they were sent home when the photograph on the chain told who they belonged to. Abulafia, probably best known for her charming illustrations for Barbara Porte’s Harry books, uses the same easygoing style, here, depicting a cozy neighborhood with a few humorous touches (check out the rat coming up out of the sewer grate or the wildly styled barber who is on their path.) The book does have a couple oddments: Why was it necessary to have Jonathan’s father late to pick him up? Why does Jonathan ask what the picture on the chain is for? But they just work themselves into the tale, a slice of everyday where not everything is expected, nor needs, to make sense. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-929132-40-9
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003