Monday, 28 January 2013

The Heart and The Bottle By Oliver Jeffers Review

Written and Illustrated By Oliver Jeffers

Childrens, Grief, Love


Award-winning picture book star Oliver Jeffers explores themes of love and loss in this life-affirming, uplifting tale.

Once there was a girl whose life was filled with wonder at the world around her…

Then one day something happened that made the girl take her heart and put it in a safe place.

However, after that it seemed that the world was emptier than before. But would she know how to get her heart back?

In this deeply moving story, Oliver Jeffers deals with the weighty themes of love and loss with an extraordinary lightness of touch and shows us, ultimately, that there is always hope.


Oliver Jeffers is a multi-award winning author of children's books and is one of the best writer of children's picture books in recent years.

Famous for stories such as 'Lost and Found' and 'Up and Down' that feature an absolutely adorable little boy and his friend who is a penguin and many more.

This book deals with the massively heavy themes of loss, grief and family bonds but does so with a deft hand. A subtle and gentle story, Jeffers creates a beautiful story of a young girl who sadly looses her Grandad. During her grief at the loss, she puts her heart in a bottle around her neck and goes through her life without her now loss of wonder at the world around her.

I won't spoil the ending here for anyone but it's absolutely stunning. Hell, it moved me to tears in all honesty. The simplicity of the story telling is such a strength and that's the beauty of Oliver Jeffers work. His tales are simple in their prose and the sheer lyricism helps the tales to resound for the reader.

Another major thing in Oliver Jeffers books is the gorgeous artwork and it's no different here. Once again he's managed to mix the mediums of his work to really bring the heart of the story to the forefront. The pictures here of the relationship between the girl and her grandfather and then the aftermath of the grief is so well portrayed that it truly will bring a tear to your eye.

I would highly recommend this to both young and old. It's a beautiful, subtle and poetic take on grief that completely held my three year olds attention all the way through.

What more could anyone ask for from a children's book?

Story 4/5
Characters 5/5
Recommended 5/5
Overall 14/15

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