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Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite
In The Girl and the Lock on Her Heart by Lauren Lee, a girl who lives by herself is on a mission to find the key that will fit the empty lock on her heart. One day, a boy who has a key to his heart explains what love is like to the girl and, inspired, she embarks on a quest to look for the key to her own heart. On her journey, she meets people who shower her with affection, and she constructs keys from artwork. She also expresses her love for the objects she possesses but still cannot find the key to her heart. The boy explains that love can also be found within, and after loving herself for the journey that she went on, the little girl receives the key to her own heart. Told like a fairy tale and with vibrant artwork, this is worth adding to your shelf.
I was blown away, first and foremost, by the stunning illustrations Lauren Lee designed for The Girl and the Lock on Her Heart. She truly brings the reader along on this adventure through her play with colors, detailed scenery, and unique style. I would read the book over again for the pictures alone; however, the written portion of the book is spectacular and certainly worth many re-reads as well. In both writing and imagery, this story is gentle with its readers. While the boy talks about the love he receives from his parents, the girl has no family to show her love to but discovers it herself. What a delicate way to demonstrate healing to children and adults who may not have had the benefit of a secure, loving environment. The language is simple enough for early grade school readers to follow on their own, and perfect for group story time.