The Heart and the Bottle ISBN: 9780007182305
Published by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, 2010
This sophisticated, subtle and very beautiful picture book is so full of mystery and wisdom that it will only be really appreciated by mature children. A little girl, who is loving and curious about the world and everything in it, is accompanied on adventures by a man (probably her grandfather), and together they share all of life's wonders. But one day she finds an empty chair where once the man sat, and in order to protect her hurt heart, she puts it into a bottle which she hangs around her neck. Her lack of heart means that she loses her curiosity and wonder, and it is only when she is an adult that she finds in another child the key to removing her heart from its prison and putting it back where it belongs. The message, that love can be the cause of huge sorrow, but is also worth the risk, is all the stronger for its subtlety. The quite stunning, textured illustrations in Jeffers' unique modern style are intensely moving.