Back-of-the-book blurb: A heart can be hopeful, or silly, or happy. A heart can be rugged, or snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and debut author-artist Michael Hall captures each one.
She is Too Fond of Books’ review: Greenwillow Books is an imprint of HarperCollins that has been publishing children’s books for over 35 years. Remember I told you about the HarperCollins new title introduction at ALA Midwinter? My Heart is Like a Zoo was one of the featured children’s books, and I can why it was chosen to spotlight!
A look at the cover shows you the type of bright colorful illustrations you’ll find in the book; each page (or double-page spread) describes an emotion and connects it to an animal with heart-centric (is that a word? If not, it should be!) pictures. Whether a reader’s heart is “eager as a beaver,” “silly as a seal,” or “happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice,” he’ll enjoy finding the many heart shapes that Hall uses to create the animals.
My youngest book-tester (age 5) learned a few new words to express his feelings (crafty and gloomy) and a great adjective that describes a rather large walrus (portly). He insisted on counting the hearts in each illustration, and giggled at the thoughts of a quiet “caterpillar wearing knitted socks.”
As a read-aloud, My Heart is Like a Zoo has a nice rhythm, which makes it easier for non-readers to learn to “read” it and enjoy on their own.
Though not intended as a seasonal book for Valentine’s Day, this is a nice (not syrupy!) way to honor a special young (or older!) person. The colors, shapes, and text subject (emotions) earn it a spot on the year-round bookcase.
Enjoy this video which shows some of the illustrations from My Heart is Like a Zoo: