The Heart-Shaped Leaf (Hardback)
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Shira Geffen's beautiful and poetic story follows a little girl, Alona, on her journey home through a windswept park. She rests under a tree and eats an apple and, with each bite, a leaf falls off the tree. One of the leaves is different from the others - it is an enchanted, heart-shaped leaf, and it drops onto Alona's head and clings to her braid. The magical leaf protects her from the lead and she arrives home completely dry.
Her father is waiting for her at home. He plucks the leaf out of her braid and serves her a bowl of lentil soup. When Alona gazes into the bowl of soup she sees a tree reflected there. "If you want to drink your soup, give me back my leaf!" says the tree, and tells her that the leaf is its heart, a heart in the shape of a leaf. Alona stands at the window and blows on the leaf, knowing it will find its way back. "Thank you," says the tree, which is still reflected in the soup.
Shira Geffen's delicate, vivid and moving fantasy is perfectly illustrated by Polonsky's intricate pictures, full of movement and drawn from many and varied angles. The delicate texture breaks out of each one of them.
This is a touching and gentle story, for 4-8 year old readers, with remarkable beauty, gentleness and delicacy.
Those looking for fantastical fare will find it in The Heart-Shaped Leaf, by Shira Geffen. The book, originally published in Israel as על עלה ועל אלונה (Al Aleh V’Al Alona), includes a magical heart-shaped leaf and a tree that can speak from inside a soup bowl. The gentle story features a delightfully adult-free world; a father is present for part of the story, but he is asleep on most pages. David Polonsky’s illustrations, which won the Israel Museum prize for Illustration in 2004, have a luminous, otherworldly quality that enhances the book’s sense of mystery.Jewish Book Council
Read the full review here
'Israeli children's books come of age' – by Nicola ChristieJewish Renaissance, 1st January 2020
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, January Gray
Beautiful book! You and your children will love it! Actually, all ages will love this beautiful read! Very touching!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Ryan A. Franklin
This story touches the heart. A leaf follows a little girl home, but the tree needs that leaf back, and will not allow her soup to cool until the leaf is returned. It is a simple story but much deeper than I made it out to be. And the illustrations are master works. The should be a Reading Rainbow book. Someone call Lavar.
I liked this book. I found it to be really sweet, and lovely. The illustrations are beautiful. Great to read aloud.NetGalley, Kimberly Souza
Beautifully illustrated storybook about a girl who eats an apple from a tree and the leaves mysteriously fall off as she eats. One leave follows her home and the adventure continues. Enjoyed the message and the lyrical narration.NetGalley, Helena Rivera
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Rachel McKitterick
Ohh the cuteness of this is overflowing! The illustrations are adorable and beautiful, absolutely stunning, and the story is so sweet! I loved the message this story shared about how your heart will always find its way home. Home is where the heart is afterall which is something I very much believe in. The little girl is precious and this story is just such a feel good one. I'm definitely buying a physical copy once it's released. It's such a delight even though it's rather short. But it feels just right.
The Heart Shaped Leaf was a really cute story. I loved the concept and the idea.NetGalley, Leah Horton
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Amanda Williams
Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated. This is a wonderful addition to anyone's library. I loved the heartfelt message and cannot wait to read more from this author.
This would be a great bedtime story. I liked that the girl cared about the tree. Also, the illustrations are lovely!NetGalley, Christina Lumbreras
It was a good ride that I enjoy in this strange fantastical world/story. I also really like the art. Original!NetGalley, Etienne Breton
Interview article conducted by Simon Yaffe: 'Child is stuck inside me says versatile Geffen'Jewish Telegraph, 18th January 2019
Mesmerisingly-illustrated…. A comforting fable about parenting, loss and love.Jewish Chronicle - Angela Kiverstein