I waited to get this book from the library for a LONG time… Seriously, a really long time. I requested it before it was published in early January, hoping to get my hands on it before I made my Valentine’s/Love list, and I FINALLY got off the wait list for it last week. But, I’m here to tell you that My Heart, written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken, was worth the wait. It did not disappoint one bit.
In My Heart, Luyken uses various descriptors to illustrate how our hearts might feel on different days. Some days our hearts might feel light and happy, like windows or slides. Other days, our hearts might feel messy, like puddles or stains. Some days our hearts (and often our personas) feel small, but a little love and community can help them grow. That is all spot-on, beautiful, and important for children to understand, but what I loved most about her book were the last two pages, when she writes, “Closed or open… // I get to decide.”
How empowering for children! Yes, some days our hearts do feel “heavy with rain,” fenced off, or “opened up wide.” But ultimately, we are the ones in charge of our hearts. We are the ones taking care of our hearts. We are the ones who acknowledge those deep feelings, both positive or negative, and we take care of our hearts accordingly.
And her illustrations! You may know Luyken from her book The Book of Mistakes or her illustrations in Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse. While both of those are also stunningly illustrated, these are my favorites so far. She uses mostly double-page spreads in black, white, and grey, and she adds in yellow to draw our eyes to details or accentuate the feelings she’s written about on that page. And, be sure to look closely, as she’s also incorporated hearts— sometimes one, sometimes many— into every single illustration. It’s extra fun for the kiddos to search for new hearts with each reading!
The combination of Luyken’s easy-to-read rhyme, layered illustrations, and tender content makes My Heart the perfect book to read while snuggled with your little ones.
Tell me— what book have you waited for what seemed like forever to read? And, was it worth the wait???
If you liked this, check out:
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas
Everyone by Christopher Silas Neal
Happy by Mies Van Hout Lemniscaat