Friday, September 10, 2010

Picture Book: The Heart and the Bottle

With his trademark minimalist style, author Oliver Jeffers has written another picturebook that explores the roots of human emotions. When a curious little girl loses her beloved grandfather, she protects her heart by placing it into a glass jar.

Once grown, she realizes that she misses the wonder and magic in the world, and so she enlists the help of a small, curious girl (much like her younger self) to extract her long lost heart from it's hiding place.

Within this seemingly simple plot, there are many layers of complexity. The spare, evocative art is a perfect companion to the text, which conveys the message about living with a vulnerable heart with the bare minimum of words.

Jeffers' titles always seem to be aimed at a general audience, rather than specifically at preschoolers: his titles are as relevant to adults as they are to the diaper set. Though the protagonists and situations feature children, younger kids will definitely need a sensitive adult to guide them through the complicated emotional message of this title. Best for kids aged 5 and up, and certainly recommended as an adult/child one-on-one read.

Ages 5-7
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