THE HEART AND THE BOTTLE by Oliver Jeffers
Kirkus Star

THE HEART AND THE BOTTLE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“Once there was a girl, much like any other,” curious and full of wonder; able to explore and discover because the man was there. Expansive environments illuminate the deep and abiding bond between child and elder. Then—an empty chair, a darkened room, a waiting child. Grief-stricken, the girl places her heart in a bottle for safekeeping, but “in truth, nothing was the same,” and so it remains into adulthood until someone “smaller and still curious about the world” finds the key to unlock her heart. Emotions, thoughts and memories pour forth, and the chair is empty no longer. The author beautifully weaves themes of love, loss and healing into a stirring story. Tender illustrations, dense with detail when the protagonist’s imagination is thriving and sparse when her heart is disembodied, deftly delineate the character’s emotional state. The sophisticated palette creates a consistency across the pages, and the artwork, meticulously constructed and edited with a uniquely minimalist aesthetic, is signature Jeffers. Heartbreaking, witty and filled with hope, this will perhaps rings most true with children whose parents have recently suffered a loss. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-25452-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010




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