What really caught my eye about this book was the use of vivid colors and the simple illustrations. When doing a story time, I am always looking for books that are visually appealing, with illustrations that can be easily viewed by a large group. I first thought that this would be perfect for Valentine’s Day because of the colorful hearts on the cover. But it is so much more. This book can also be used for story times about shapes, colors, emotions, or animals.
First-time children’s author, Michael Hall, is an award-winning graphic designer. His use of bright colors and simple text will appeal to young readers. There is a different animal on every page, with every third animal taking up a two-page spread. All the animals have the shape of a heart for at least its head and legs. The simple rhyming text expresses a different feeling for each animal. The children at my story time especially liked “…quiet as a caterpillar wearing knitted socks”, where each of the caterpillar’s feet is covered with a heart-shaped sock.
There are many activities that can be done along with this book. Hall uses over 300 hearts in his illustrations. How many can you find? A simple craft idea would be to have plenty of hearts in all colors and sizes. Children can use their imagination to create their own animals. Before reading the text, see how many of the animals the children can identify.
• Good gift book
• Flannel board or craft activity potential
• Good story time for large group
Check the WRL catalog for My Heart is Like a Zoo.