The Shape of My Heart


This is the shape of us,
the shape of you and me
This is the shape of our eyes,
and this is the world that we see...

From sun up to sun down, from our hands and our feet, to animals, cars, food, and teddy bears, the world is alive with endless shapes to identify. Once you start to look, who knows what shapes you'll discover next! With its ...

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This is the shape of us,
the shape of you and me
This is the shape of our eyes,
and this is the world that we see...

From sun up to sun down, from our hands and our feet, to animals, cars, food, and teddy bears, the world is alive with endless shapes to identify. Once you start to look, who knows what shapes you'll discover next! With its gently reassuring text and vivid illustrations, The Shape of My Heart invites readers to look beyond the obvious, and explore the world in a whole new way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Part concept book and part poem, this eye-catching picture book is a reassuring valentine for any day of the year. Despite the emphasis on shapes, Sperring (The Sunflower Sword) isn’t offering an introduction to circles, squares, and triangles: “This is the shape that we are./ The shape of you and me,” he writes, as the opening spread shows two smiling figures—one large, one small—in white silhouette, defined by a sea of colorful shapes that surround them. A focus on bodily shapes continues (“This is the shape of my hand,/ the hand you hold on to”), serving as an entry into related objects and settings (a spread about food follows one about mouths; a look at feet and shoes paves the way for a scene featuring vehicles). Debut illustrator Paterson fills the pages with crisp and colorful objects, often accented with sound effects (a friendly dinosaur offers a gentle “raaaa,” birds chirp and tweet). It’s a lovingly designed and visually appealing portrait of the places, animals, and objects common to a child’s world, with the invisible but perceptible adult presence hovering in the background. Ages 2–5. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Sperring offers up a slightly nontraditional concept book in this visually absorbing introduction to shapes. Circles, squares, and triangles are not the focus here. Instead, children are presented with a range of more organic shapes that may hit closer to home-a mouth, feet, shoes, animals, cars, and, of course, a heart. Rhyming text addresses listeners as a parent speaking to a child, pointing out the world around them. "This is the shape of my shoes./And this is the shape of your feet./And these are the shapes that pass us by… /on a noisy, busy street." Beneath a large heart filled with the previously mentioned shapes, Sperring closes his poetic ode with these lines: "And this is the shape I love you with./This is the shape of my heart." Paterson's charming, modern designs practically sing. Stylized birds, a polka-dot mouse, an extra-long pink taxi, patchwork patterned grass, rainbow stars, and other quirky details pop out against white backdrops. Satisfying rhymes and large, attractive art combine to make this a storytime or bedtime winner.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, Farmington Hills, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Singsong rhyming text introduces the myriad shapes encountered during the course of a child's day. But one shape--any guesses?--holds special significance. Sperring begins, "This is the shape that we are. The shape of you and me. / This is the shape of our eyes. And these are the shapes we might see." The shapes presented in this title are really just everyday objects rather than geometrical figures, so those expecting a traditional concept book may be surprised. Eschewing concepts, debut illustrator Paterson does her best to extend the spare text with mixed-media pictures full of eye-poppingly bright images against predominantly stark white backgrounds. Her palette reflects the cheery colors most preschoolers use in their own artwork. The overall visual appeal will satisfy a wide range of little ones. The youngest readers will have fun pointing out favorite vehicles on the spread dedicated to "the shapes that pass us by…" and giggle at the inventive colors chosen to illustrate "the shapes at the zoo!" On the final page is a large heart made up of a collection of mini "shapes" introduced previously and the declaration: "And this is the shape I love you with. / This is the shape of my heart." While this may inspire children to create their own heart full of shapes they love, the title fails to deliver anything that has not been done before. (Picture book. 2-5)

Paterson uses brightly colored cut-paper collage-style illustrations to urge readers to give a fresh look to everyday objects. . . . [A]n intriguing combination of poetic wondering and point-and-name-the-object prompts.
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
The world is full of many shapes if only one takes the time to observe ones surroundings. Not an introduction to basic shapes, this lyrical celebration invites readers to look at everyday objects and discern the shapes within. The shape of the eye is depicted as elliptical or spherical and then the shape is flowed by a plethora of the things the eye can see. Sneakers hide the shape of feet but those feet can take us to a busy street to see all the shapes of trucks and cars that pass by. The hand has its own shape and when hands are held at the zoo there is no end to the wonderful creatures to see. The moon and stars have a shape and the shape of "I love you" is a heart filled with many of the things seen on this special journey. Bright, mixed-media illustrations on crisp white background allow even the youngest to pick out circles and triangles, squares and rectangles. There is a lot to see, identify, and discuss and parent and child will have many hours of fun sharpening their visual acuity on a journey that can inspire them to look beyond the book to the world outside. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599909622
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/24/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 199,691
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Sperring is the author of The Sunflower Sword (Andersen), Captain Buckleboots on the Naughty Step (Puffin) and Green (Meadowside). He is a bookseller with a huge wealth of knowledge of the children's market. Mark lives in Bristol.

Alys Paterson is a graphic designer and fine artist who has had several greeting card ranges published by the Art Group and who sells her beautiful prints through various galleries and Ikea. She trained at Falmouth and now lives in Bristol. This is her first picture book.

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