This is put out by TOON Books, a very cool publisher of comic picture books that kids can read on their own. On their own! Even at three years old. Why? Because they’re told visually and with minimal, simple words.
And YET. This book is not simple at all. It invites readers to come up with their own narrative interpretations. It’s kind of a wild ride! And the art is impeccable thanks to Thereza Rowe‘s bold, beautiful, graphic creations.
I like how this book is about love, one’s heart, but it’s really about the friendship kind of love. Penelope the fox’s best friend takes off in a rocket (of course!)—but at least she’s got a stack of books with her. Penelope’s heart is broken in two with the loss. And then, oops, she drops her heart in the ocean!
One sweet part of the backstory is that the story emerged when Thereza Rowe lost one of her cats. “…it was like half of my heart was ripped out. As I was wallowing in my own misery, suddenly came a wee voice: ‘Whatever happens, never lose your heart…”
Keep that newspaper airplane in mind for craft time!
You’ll appreciate hints of Alice in Wonderland, superheroes, fairy tales, mid-century modernism, elements of Mary Blair, along with all things whimsical.
It’s super simple. Make a paper airplane and put a heart in it to be carried away. (I love the idea of kids launching these around a room at each other!). You can keep it simple or make it as fancy as you want.
We lined our airplanes with another paper for a pop of color or pattern on the inside. Then we made exhaust tails out of whatever was on hand—pretty tissue paper, blue accordion ribbon. Cut out some hearts in whatever color you like, write a message (preferably aviation or postal related) and voila! Your valentine is ready to send!
And that’s how you send a heart, picture book style.
One last surprise:
I’m giving away a copy of HEARTS over on twitter!
Come find me there to enter!