By Corinna Luyken
(For readers in Preschool–3rd Grade)
Corinna Luyken’s My Heart is an epigrammatic text exploring the manifestations of one’s heart. The short, sweet, simple wording makes for an appealing read-aloud. The book takes an in tandem journey with the reader through various shades of emotions that any child can relate to while being encouraged toward a better understanding and acceptance of their feelings. My Heart shows that sometimes we may be closed off, and sometimes we may be open. It conveys the idea that, though we cannot always be happy, taking the time to search our emotions allows our heart to help us through.
Lukyen illustrates My Heart with a touch of whimsy in an abbreviated palette that parallels her terse use of text. This style enhances the reader’s empathy and thought processes. “My” as a clever eponymous proxy device for the reader makes this all the easier. On every page the reader can find at least one heart, some are more obvious than others, and it’s added fun to make a game out of finding all the hearts in a drawing.
The easily accessible illustrations and writing help Luyken to bring complex ideas about the importance of love and pain within a young reader’s reach. As Valentine’s Day approaches, My Heart is the perfect read for your preschool to third-grade student. Through My Heart a child can begin to understand why we celebrate love every year.