Saturday 4 April 2020

Book review of Heart and Soul

Heart And Soul by Carol Ann Martin & Tull Suwannakit
Scholastic AU RRP $24.99 AUD (Hardback)

I was so excited to see a new title from Carol Ann Martin on my review pile this month. Her hilarious Underneath A Cow has had more than its fair share of reads by Team Charming over the years. What’s more, she generously donated a story to Library For All (my day job!) which has now been shared with thousands of kids in education programs around Papua New Guinea, Laos and Timor-Leste. Let’s just say I’m a fan!
But all of that aside, there is something quite special about Heart And Soul.  My Mr 8 is a good reader and is usually drawn more to Middle Grade action than picture books these days, but this one made him well up! Evocative illustrations with a sentimental, Christmas-y feel bring to life a gentle story about loyalty, friendship and music.   
Elderly Charlie Wintergreen rescues scrappy pup Louis from the dogs’ home. They build a cosy life together, particularly enjoying Charlie’s trumpet skills. As Charlie plays, Louis sings – always with heart and soul. But one day an ambulance comes to take Charlie away, and he doesn’t return. Louis is back to being a no-name, no-home pup…until he hears someone else playing the trumpet.
Young readers may find this an emotional journey, but it does have a happy ending with positive messages about resilience, tenacity and the notion that ‘home’ and ‘family’ can come in all different shapes and sizes. And, most importantly, a reminder to put your heart and soul into everything you do.

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