The Shape of My Heart

Mark Sperring, Author, Alys Paterson, Illustrator
Mark Sperring, illus. by Alys Paterson. Bloomsbury, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59990-962-2
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 12/24/2012
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4088-4061-0
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-1-59990-963-9
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Part concept book and part poem, this eye-catching picture book is a reassuring valentine for any day of the year. Despite the emphasis on shapes, Sperring (The Sunflower Sword) isn’t offering an introduction to circles, squares, and triangles: “This is the shape that we are./ The shape of you and me,” he writes, as the opening spread shows two smiling figures—one large, one small—in white silhouette, defined by a sea of colorful shapes that surround them. A focus on bodily shapes continues (“This is the shape of my hand,/ the hand you hold on to”), serving as an entry into related objects and settings (a spread about food follows one about mouths; a look at feet and shoes paves the way for a scene featuring vehicles). Debut illustrator Paterson fills the pages with crisp and colorful objects, often accented with sound effects (a friendly dinosaur offers a gentle “raaaa,” birds chirp and tweet). It’s a lovingly designed and visually appealing portrait of the places, animals, and objects common to a child’s world, with the invisible but perceptible adult presence hovering in the background. Ages 2–5. (Jan.)
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