Heart and Soul
Carol Ann Martin (2020)
A story about friendship, loyalty and a love of the arts. Carol Ann Martin has added this exquisite tale to her large collection of published picture books. Louis, a rescued dog, forms a loyal and loving friendship with his jazz loving owner Charlie. Together they connect over their passion for music; Charlie plays the trumpet and Louis sings along. The reader is immediately captivated by the two precious characters- their personalities evident within reading the first page. Readers then fall straight into the tension of the story by page two when one of the lovable characters fall ill.
Heart and Soul follows a narrative structure beautifully through the introduction of characters and setting, followed by tension, then problem, and eventual unravelling of the resolution. Throughout the story, Martin continually revisits the message of ‘heart and soul’, a reference to being true to oneself and feeling the music. She uses interesting and unique adjectives to build connection to the characters such as ‘scrambled-up, no-name pup’, and evocative verbs such as ‘drifted’, ‘rushed’ and ‘floated’.
Tull Suwannakit, a Melbourne based illustrator from Thailand, complements the story with stunning water colour pictures and expressive faces. Both the theme and illustrations are reminiscent of Mem Fox and Julie Vivas’ ‘Wilfred Gordan McDonald Patridge’ and would pair perfectly for teaching text-to-text connections. With flowing sentences and unique word choices, ‘Christmas was coming, all bustle and dash’, the story appeals to a range of age groups starting from four.
A joyful book that can be enjoyed by all.
What's this about?
As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.