Hearting With Herman

You Are Never Alone

Children - Animals
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 10/13/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Hearting With Herman is a children's book written by Kerry Keegan and illustrated by Li Liu. Standing at the beach and staring at the ocean, young Sasha feels sorrow and so very alone. When she asks why this feeling overwhelms her heart, Sasha hears a beautiful sound before a whale named Herman appears. Herman takes Sasha on an incredible journey in the ocean, and when she again hears the magical sound, Sasha learns that it is the happiness of a whale's heart as it calls out to the world. Herman introduces her to amazing sea creatures, and quite soon, Sasha's heart is singing a song of its very own after being shown how many friends she truly has. Sasha knows that she will never feel alone again.

I was elated to find a wondrous and joyous tale, with such an uplifting feeling while reading that I am still left with a smile. As an Australian ex-pat who lives isolated overseas, I miss the beauty and majesty of the ocean and all it offers. Each time Herman 'hearted' his magnificent whale song, I easily remembered the amazing aquatic melodies of my childhood. Equally, I marveled in the incredible illustrations of so many different wonders of Mother Nature which own the oceans - Earth's own liquid gold. Kerry Keegan and Li Liu both receive a standing ovation for such an incredible way of introducing the beauty of our oceans to a whole new generation, in a story that can be told for many generations to come. Hearting With Herman belongs on every bookshelf which prides itself on high-quality reads. There is no doubt in my mind that young audiences around the world aged 5-12 will be captivated by this exotic journey under the sea.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

A heart song is the music of the universe. A little girl, Sasha, first hears this heart music while riding the back of her new friend, the whale named Herman. His heart is echoing his happy emotions and singing what he calls his heart song, loud and clear for all to hear. As the two new friends venture into the sea, Sasha learns about love and togetherness and, most importantly, the simple fact that we are never alone, even if we think we are. As her heart starts to join in Herman’s heart song, the two friends continue hearting together, meeting all kinds of sea creatures and the Earth goddess who blesses Sasha with the magic of the universe: music.

Kerry Keegan’s picture book story, Hearting With Herman: You Are Never Alone, is a sweet story about the simple, tender ties of love that bind. From Sasha’s point of view in the first-person narrative, the plot follows her adventures with Herman the whale. First, standing alone on the beach, Sasha feels very alone as there’s no one nearby. Then Herman calls to her from the sea and she accepts his invitation for a seafaring adventure. The plot develops as they two play, cavort and join together in their own special heart song. It’s a magical adventure, but also a heartfelt one, as the two, joined in their music, are granted the wisdom of ages. They receive the message that loving compassion brings all living creatures together and helps define who we are as unique individuals and what we are all capable of doing. The illustrations are as charming as the story. Beautiful. Loved it!

Francis Mont

Hearting with Herman by Kerry Keegan is a picture book illustrated by Li Liu. It’s about a little girl named Sasha and a whale named Herman who become friends and go on a magical journey together on and under the sea. It is told in the first person by Sasha. At the opening, she is on the seashore, alone, wishing for someone to play with. Right away, the whale calls to her and invites her to ride on his back. Soon, they are joined by many other creatures of the water and the air, forming a joyful parade and making the beautiful music of loving hearts. Sasha is taken to visit the mother of Earth and given a wonderful gift before Herman returns her back home.

This is a book to be savored and gazed at for a long time. Kerry Keegan’s text is clear and easy to follow; children would have no trouble understanding what is being said or its deeper meaning. Li Liu’s watercolor illustrations are beautiful, dream-like, and evocative. Text and illustrations fit perfectly together. The story they tell is a happy and optimistic one about love and hope. It also teaches young children the value of friendship and the miracle of Earth’s wildlife and natural wonders. Herman’s song (which can be listened to on the author’s website) is sheer beauty. I can recommend Hearting with Herman by Kerry Keegan and Li Liu to any child from age three and guarantee that the adult reading it to that child will also enjoy the experience.