The Heart-Shaped Leaf (Hardback)
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.