Book Buzz: How to Mend a Heart
How to Mend a Heart
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
Ages 3-7, Random House Children’s Books
For small children, emotions sometimes run high. Learning to effectively respond to events with those family members and friends that are in a young one’s life can be confusing and frustrating. Ask any parent of a toddler.
Sara Gillingham’s How to Mend a Heart quietly addresses relationships that are slightly bruised by emotional situations. Using the visual metaphor of a damaged toy, she softly expresses the need for forgiveness and the hope for trust to be reestablished. A stitch here and a dab of glue help repair the broken toy and the relationship as well.
Gillingham’s illustrations are silhouetted flat colors with very little texture needed. With these simple images, a quiet pacing of the story gives the limited text time to sink in as young eyes make their way around the page. With the images created from the perspective of a toddler, the message is plain that sometimes close relationships need tender nurturing, even when accidents happen.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, How to Mend a Heart gives the opportunity to discuss accidental events within relationships. The time it takes to mend a broken heart teaches patience and understanding… and most of all, forgiveness.
Chuck Galey writes and illustrates picture books. Visit his website to see what he’s up to at www.chuckgaley.com.