My Heart Grows

S. & S./Little Simon. Dec. 2021. 18p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781665900119.
PreS–At the beginning of this story, a mother explains to her child that her heart began to grow when the child entered her life. A diverse mix of families, including moms and kids, dads and kids, grandma and grandchild, and siblings with a range of skin tones continues this narrative, increasing the size of their own hearts after positive and negative experiences occur. As the characters’ hearts grow, they become interconnected, creating a tapestry of love shared among the many members of a dynamic community. This charming board book supports the message that love is an ever-expanding emotion that is enhanced in various ways throughout one’s life. Love is represented by the red outline of a heart that increases in size on each subsequent page and links the images together. Chunky, childlike illustrations depict families interacting with one another in several ways, including intergenerational relationships alongside more traditional parent-child representations. Visible paint strokes and pen lines give the illustrations a textured appearance, bringing out the rich hues through an accessible presentation. The text itself follows a loose, rhyming meter as parents reinforce the fact that their love grows through each of the interactions they have with their children. Supportive and encouraging, this book helps young children gain an understanding that their individuality is exactly what endears others to them.
VERDICT A heartwarming story for caregivers to share with their children as a means of reinforcing the depth of their affections.

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