Parents' Guide to

What Is Given from the Heart

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Lovely art, heartwarming story about the joy of giving.

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This beautifully illustrated, heartfelt story about giving amid tragedy is sure to become a favorite on many a family bookshelf. The melodic text and speech in What Is Given from the Heart is pleasing to the ear. This testament to the love between a mother and her son and the power of faith and community is a stunning reflection of one aspect of African American culture. The soft and luminous folk art/found art illustrations capture the details of the story in moving scenes. Particularly wonderful are those of James Otis embracing his mother as she mourns, the gorgeous spread that shows African American congregants walking to church together in their colorful Sunday best, and the joyous depiction of James Otis catching snow on his tongue as his mother has her arms open in wonder and smiles up to the sky. This is a not-to-be-missed treasure from an iconic storyteller and talented fine artist.

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