#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Reinventing Womanity, Redefining Womanhood

A Heart’s Decision To Heal Itself, Thus Transforming It Anew in Corinna Luyken’s Picturebook

"My Heart" by Corinna Luyken.

Myra here.

My Heart

Written and Illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc (2019)
ISBN: 0735227934 (ISBN13: 9780735227934) Borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.

Once in awhile, a book finds you, grabs hold of you, and does not let go. This book is one of them. This is my most-discussed, most-book-talked title in practically all of my professional development workshops this year. Hence, even while Fats has already done a review of this gorgeous title here, I can not help but share my own thoughts about it.

For those who are new to our site, do know that I am not a huge fan of rhyming text. I often find it contrived and simplistic. Yet, there are several that do leave a heart-print, pun intended. In this book, there is only one sentence per page, with the art taking centre stage but never detracting from the message conveyed.

I also noticed the visual codes embedded in each page with a heart-shaped cloud, a heart configuration in a trellis gate, or tiny leaves in the shape of a heart found in a windowsill. The narrative is cohesive throughout.

It does not shy away from the truth that while one’s heart can rejoice and be filled with love, it can also grieve and curl up on itself. What I find to be especially powerful in this picturebook is the capacity of one to decide what to do with one’s heart, especially when it is broken, hurt, tight-fisted-closed. This precious work of art shows how one is able to reinvent, redefine, transform one’s self, if one so wills it.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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