One of the most popular children’s book authors out there right now is Oliver Jeffers. He was the illustrator for The Day the Crayons Quit, and the creator of How to Catch a Star and, my favorite, This Moose Belongs to Me. This week we’re taking a look at one of his books of a different ilk: The Heart and the Bottle, a story about loss, grief, and finding your heart again.
The Heart and the Bottle
by Oliver Jeffers
Like most of Oliver Jeffers’s books, a good section of the story is told with his illustrations rather than the words on the page.
He fills speech bubbles and backgrounds with tons of visual information, such as what the little girl is thinking about, or what is being explained to her. In fact there’s so much going on, you often don’t notice everything…
Until it’s gone.
In this story, the little girl from the first half of the book grows up with her heart inside a bottle, an interesting representation of the awkward walls and protections we put up around ourselves to protect from hurt.
Eventually the girl wants to take her heart out of the bottle, but it’s difficult to do, just like it is in real life. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.
The book is a sweet and touching story of the losses we can experience, and how it’s hard, but not impossible, to get over them. I’d recommend it for children of any age who have experienced a loss and have to process it.
Do you guys know of any books that do a particularly good job with dealing with loss? How about books that are just really good at putting a lot of visual information on the page? Let us know in the comments below!