Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Shape of My Heart by Mark Sperring

The Shape of My Heart by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Alys Paterson

Rating: 4 stars

Here's a sweet book about a parent's love for a child, explained through the senses and with many, many shapes.

I'll explain.

Sperring writes: "This is the shape of our eyes.  And these are the shapes that we might see."  Paterson illustrates all the little things that a parent and child might see together while playing or walking or being together.  A fun dinner plate, a green plant, a picture in the process of being painted, a balloon, a ball of yarn.  All little reminders of things done together--or maybe things that will be done together.

Sperring writes: "This is the shape of our mouths. Now, what would you like to eat?" Paterson illustrates all the little things that a parent and child might eat together--hot pasta with peas, what-a-treat lollipops, carrots fresh from the garden, sweet strawberries, a hunk of cheese.  All little examples of food--both staples and treats--that will be eaten together.

In between the pages with things the parent and child will see, hear, touch, and taste together are
elaborate illustrations comprised of simple shapes that give a child a great reason to pause and take in the illustration before quickly turning the page.

The last page is definitely the best.  The punchline.  The reason I bought the book.

Sperring writes: "And this is the shape I love you with.  This is the shape of my heart."  Paterson illustrates all those little things that the parent and child did together, this time tucked closely together, collage-style in the shape of a heart.

For me, this is a great reminder to us parents that all those little, very tangible things we do with a child point out how much we love them.  "Forever is just a string of a lot of right nows," said a character in a movie we watched last night.  And love is just a collection of little moments...little moments that hopefully we parents will choose to be in--I mean really BE in, in a join-the-fun sort of way--again and again and again.

Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with a few of these moments.

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