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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There are lots of shapes that appear in nature and in everyday objects all around us. The most interesting shape, however, is the shape of a heart. We’re all familiar with that shape, but have you given thought to where you might see this shape? How about in a can of pickles? Or a slice of watermelon? Or on a tree’s bark? Or on a cute black and white puppy’s rump? Hearts are everywhere. You just have to look closely to find them.
Debi Novotny’s picture book story, Where Do Hearts Grow? A Little Book of Hidden Hearts, is a clever way to teach young people how to be observant while they learn a little more about the world around them. Each heart shape the author introduces is an image seen through a magnifying glass. She accompanies each magnified image with the question: “Can you guess where this whole heart grew?” or something similar, always beginning with “Can you guess where...” The following page will have a more detailed image of the heart presented, identifying its location, and then an interesting sidebar with some background on the object or animal on which it was found. For example, tiny hearts found on feathers, she identifies as: “They grew on the feathers of a Gilded Flicker bird.” Then she continues with a Fun Fact: “The gilded flicker bird grows feather with tiny hearts on them. This male bird made his nest in a saguaro cactus.” The climax, of course, is the human heart, but the author points out that there are many more locations for hearts in the world. At the end of the book, the author provides an interactive activity to encourage young readers to find their own hearts in nature and all around them. The beautiful illustrations are wonderfully and creatively presented.