HEARTS is the debut from Thereza Rowe, an illustrator and graphic designer whose favorite tools are "color, shape and imagination." Published by TOON Books, which was started by Françoise Mouly, artist, designer, editor and, since 1993, art editor for The New Yorker, HEARTS, like every Toon Book, is visually striking, and out of the ordinary.
Penelope is heartbroken, literally, when her best friend leaves on a rocket ship. That gives you a pretty good idea of the kind of ride you are in for as Penelope, a very tall fox, chases after her broken heart. Dolphins, seagulls and a paper airplane carry it farther and father away. A friendly horse and a chicken first seen dancing on a bus help Penelope as she continues on her quest.
Penelope's search seems to be coming to a happy end in the Garden of Lost Things, but she finds she has to make a difficult decision that leads to a happy, heart-filled ending.
HEARTS is definitely a unique book, both as a beginning reader and as a picture book in general. It may seem like a different choice for a beginning reader, but if you think out of the box this is a wonderful book for all sorts of readers of all ages and situations.
Source: Review Copy