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The Heart and the Bottle Paperback – 2 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (2 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007182341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007182343
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 0.4 x 26.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oliver Jeffers is an artist, designer, illustrator and writer from Northern Ireland.

From figurative painting, collage and installation to illustration and award winning picture-books, Oliver Jeffers practice takes many forms.

His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in multiple cities, including the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Brooklyn Museum New York.

HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his picture books, now translated into over 30 languages, including The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and the New York Times Bestseller This Moose Belongs to Me and #1 New York Times Bestseller The Day The Crayons Quit.

Oliver won an Emmy in 2010 for his collaborative work with artist and filmmaker Mac Premo. He has made art for Newsweek, The New York Times, United Airlines, TED, Nintendo, and has illustrated a a number of novels.

In 2007, Jeffers was the official illustrator for World Book Day.

Lost and Found became Oliver's first book to made into animation by London based Studio AKA, screening on Christmas Eve 2008 on Channel 4 in the UK and on Nickelodeon in the US and Australia.

Oliver was born in Port Hedland, Australia, grew up and was educated in Belfast Northern Ireland and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Description


Praise for The Heart and the Bottle:

“Beautifully produced and profoundly moving… It made me cry, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one.” The Irish Times

“Jeffers anatomises loss and the processes of grief with an honesty and ingenuity that will move adults and children of any age.” Telegraph

Praise for Oliver Jeffers:

“Oliver Jeffers makes impressive use of space in this affecting story of friendship … illustrations capture feelings of loss and loneliness through the most delicate nuances of facial expression … and body language.” Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian

“Hail to new talent … If only all picture books could be this good.” The Bookseller

About the Author

Oliver Jeffers graduated from The University of Ulster in 2001 with First Class honours. His outstanding talent has been recognised by several high-profile awards, including the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize Gold Award. ‘Lost and Found’ animation was broadcast on Channel 4. Oliver lives and works in Brookyln, New York.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By beingnormal on 31 May 2011
Format: Paperback
My nearly 3 year old son chose another Oliver Jeffers book (How to catch a Star)in the library about a year ago, loved it and began asking for more Oliver Jeffers.
The Heart and the bottle didn't disapoint. It keeps to the winning formula of initial simple story, easily learned by rote so a small child can 'read' back to themselves, and quirky, clear illustrations that both support the initial story and tell a deeper tale on their own.
Now I'm a bit dim & didn't pick up the bereavement theme until read through number 3, but without saying anything I passed on a copy of the book to a friend whose recently lost her mother, and her 2 year old picked it up straight away (won't say how that'd be a spoiler). By no means is this a morbid book, however if you have lost family members whether through death, divorce, whatever, and your small child is starting to ask those big questions, this book may be a comfort and aid to discussion.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By English Association English 4-11 on 31 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the Key Stage 2 Fiction Category in the English Association's 2011 English 4-11 Best Children's Illustrated Books Awards

It is often the simplest words and pictures that convey the most potent messages and in this beautifully conceived book, Oliver Jeffers has achieved just such a rare marriage. Text and illustration combine - apparently effortlessly - to tug at our heartstrings in such a way that we know this is a book we will not easily forget.

Jeffers focuses on the big issues - life, love, learning, death and understanding, and he does this successfully, in under 300 well-chosen words. Language of such simplicity also serves to underline the power of the visual. One of the most telling spreads has no words at all, but an expanse of white space speaks volumes.

The book tells the story of `a girl, much like any other', her curiosity about the world and how she shares this with her grandfather, `until the day she found an empty chair'. Not knowing how to deal with this, she puts her heart into a bottle to keep it safe. However, locking up one's heart locks up one's feelings, and as she loses her curiosity so her life loses its joy and richness. But some time later, she meets a girl much like she once was, someone `smaller and still curious about the world', someone who helps her to release her trapped heart so that she is able to fill that once empty chair and enjoy life again.

The book has many messages to consider and offers us lessons to learn. At a time when our own curiosity is often satisfied at the click of a button, and the answers delivered on to a screen, Jeffers shows us how real learning is best done through first-hand experience or by conversation with someone whose experiences go beyond our own.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 14 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'The Heart And The Bottle' is a simple tale told from the perspective of a little girl, capturing beautifully the charming sense of wonder and amazement of this world from a child's viewpoint, and their excitement and curiosity of the vastness that surrounds and awaits them.

The book follows the adventures of the little girl and her grandfather as they share their days and years whiling away their hopes, dreams, and their wonders of this world, seemingly inseparable in their love for the wonder of this world and one another.

The little girls sense of wonder soon turns to one of sadness with the passing of her loving grandfather. Here in the books central theme, Jeffers brilliantly captures the little girls sense of loss and mourning of her grandfather as she attempts to protect her heart from ever being hurt again by placing it in the only safe place she knows - in a bottle. Now all alone, her sense of wonder and love with the world has gone. With such sadness, we see the little girl grow into a young lady, while all of the time her heart and emotions are safely protected inside the coldness and emptiness of the bottle, allowing nothing to hurt her ever again.

It is only when she is touched by the curiosities of another young child that she remembers the time when she felt that same sense of wonder, and she comes to realise that although keeping her heart safe, the bottle has become a burden, making the world appear a cold and empty place. The young child she meets helps her to remove her heart from the bottle - and we see the girl and her heart back where they belong, in a warm and loving place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By westmer on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Each new book from Oliver Jeffers brings fresh delight to me and my grandchildren. Delight's possibly not quite the word in the case of The Heart and The Bottle because the theme is sombre and thought-provoking for both me and the children...but it still creates a frisson. In it, Jeffers has the courage and the poetic skill to tackle the 'impossible' theme of mortality with an honesty and lightness of touch that's remarkable.

His drawings, here as ever are subtle and allusive, as are his words. He makes his readers work - look, think, interpret, infer, and in the case of books that are best read together that's the starting point of the shared exploration.

Some people think children should be shielded from unhappy thoughts of loss and separation and I'd agree that we don't need to be morbid or mawkish. But here's a book that winds gently through the puzzlement and emotions of bereavement and leaves us a great feeling of both legacy and hope. Children can cope with it? Of course. Can the adults?
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