From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy.

My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed...or opened up wide.

Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you.

With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.


"Lucid verse and transcendent monotype prints masterfully express how a heart can be “a window…a slide…closed / or opened up wide.”

Soothing, simple phrasing and masterful printmaking harness metaphors to make a heart’s complexity accessible to children just recognizing its many manifestations. Recurring rhyme provides an ideal cadence for reading aloud and also a reassuring assertion: Feelings can change from one moment to the next, your heart might sometimes be “cloudy and heavy with rain,” but just as the verse returns to rhyme, a heart can right itself. It "can grow,” and it “can mend, / and a heart that is closed can still open again.” Double-page spreads, inky with coal blacks and smudgy graphite grays, find luminosity and searing beauty through the introduction of a single color, an undauntedly optimistic ginkgo yellow that surges and glows. Pencil work adds specificity (freckles, eyeglasses, buttons, blades of grass) and sometimes emotional jaggedness (pelting rain, a steep, rickety slide). Young readers will see themselves in this impressive book’s children, kids of all racial backgrounds, who hide behind closed curtains, trudge through rain, extend a bouquet of small heart-flowers, stand under the protective boughs of a wondrous tree. The final pages acknowledge a heart’s myriad, sometimes-incongruous roles (“a shadow, / a light, and a guide”) and joyfully assert our own, ultimate self-governance: “Closed or open… // I get to decide.”

Sensitive, stunning words and pictures speak directly to young hearts." (Picture book. 6-11)


"Rhyming verse and sweet-tempered artwork by Luyken (The Book of Mistakes) explore childhood emotions through images of the heart. Children of different ages and colors are seen playing, exploring. When they’re overtaken by sadness or loneliness, they find comfort in the company of others: “My heart is a window,/ my heart is a slide./ My heart can be closed/ or opened up wide.” One remorseful-looking girl shows her mother a vase. It’s broken—and so is her heart. A page turn reveals the restored vase on a table. The girl opens the blinds to let the sunshine in, finding that “broken can mend,/ and a heart that is closed/ can still open again.” Fences, stains, and quiet whispers become metaphors for feelings. Accepting companionship heals and helps children grow: “Closed or open... I get to decide,” the book finishes, with a spread of a smiling girl, arms thrown wide. Flashes of brilliant yellow illuminate smudgy black-and-white drawings, and heart forms can be found everywhere, in ironwork, tiny seedlings, and stars. The abstract nature of Luyken’s meditation will draw readers receptive to thoughtful examination..." 4–8. (Jan.)

                            MY HEART by Corinna Luyken