Top positive review
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A tale of love and loss, beautifully told...
on 14 March 2010
'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.
Jeffers illustrates brilliantly with an extraordinary deftness of touch, tackling the traditionally adult theme of love and loss and all of the sadness and emotions with which that entails with a wonderfully lightness of touch that few other artists or illustrators seem able to do.
His storytelling and illustrations in this charming book offer to children a rare opening to learn and explore the important and complex emotions involved with the loss of a loved one, with which we all inevitably encounter throughout our lives - for with the wonder and amazement of life, also comes cruelty, sadness, and ultimately death. A rare subject, brilliantly tackled, that no child should be without! I cannot wait to see the motion picture of this book.