Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

Book Info
The Heart and the Bottle
by Oliver Jeffers
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to find joy in colors and laughter as we play.
But what happens when that special someone who encourages such wonder and magic is no longer around? We can hide, we can place our heart in a bottle and grow up . . . or we can find another special someone who understands the magic. And we can encourage them to see things in the stars, find joy among colors and laughter as they play.
Oliver Jeffers delivers a remarkable book, a tale of poignancy and resonance reminiscent of The Giving Tree that will speak to the hearts of children and parents alike.

My Quick Thoughts
In the realm of picture books there are two worlds- books made for kids and books made for adults. Some can combine them and make it work but The Heart and the Bottle is a picture book for adults. The symbolism of hiding your heart in a bottle so it will not be broken is one that an adult would understand and may be to complex for most children. This is more of perspective on how our childhood shapes us as adults and not a future look for children. I really liked the symbolism and this complex story but it is not really for children. It has been compared to The Giving Tree and I can see that. The Giving Tree is a book that we read to children but we understand it more as we grow up. Children have a harder time grasping the complicated theories behind death and how to deal with grief. I would suggest a less complex book for grieving children and save this one for when they are older. I would recommend The Heart and the Bottle to teens and adults who have lost a loved one but understand that the lessons they teach are important, especially the love and imagination that was shared.


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