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The Heart-Shaped Leaf (Hardback)

Children's Books

By Shira Geffen, Illustrations by David Polonsky
Imprint: Green Bean Books
Pages: 32
ISBN: 9781784382629
Published: 10th December 2018

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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.

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 stars

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.

NetGalley, Rachel McKitterick

The Heart Shaped Leaf was a really cute story. I loved the concept and the idea.

NetGalley, Leah Horton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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.

NetGalley, Amanda Williams

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

About Shira Geffen

Shira Geffen comes from Tel Aviv and is a playwright, director, actor and children's author. She has written four books for children. The Heart Shaped Leaf has also been translated into Swedish, Arabic and Persian.


About David Polonsky

David Polonsky has illustrated several picture books and also works as a teacher of animation and illustration. He was head illustrator for the film Waltz with Bashir, a critically acclaimed animated documentary and is the illustrator of the new, highly acclaimed Anne Frank graphic novel.

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