The Shape of My Heart By Mark Sperring



Picture book

The Shape of My Heart is a picture book for a younger audience. It looks at the various shapes that make up our world and our lives. It’s a simple story, but a very sweet one. We thought it was the perfect book to feature with it being close to Valentine’s Day!


Each page of The Shape of My Heart, looks at the shapes that make up our own bodies and then the shapes we encounter each day. For example, the shape of our eyes and then the shapes of the various things we see; the shape of our mouths and the shapes of the foods we eat. Of course, the sweet ending is provided by the shape of the heart “I love you with.”

Why I love it:

There are loads of ‘shape’ books around to help teach younger children about circles and squares and rectangles, but I don’t remember ever seeing another book that deals with the abstract shapes of our bodies and the items we come in contact with each day. This book is a great way of encouraging your child (and yourself) to watch the world a bit more closely and to notice the individual characteristics of all that surrounds us.

I also really love Alys Paterson’s simple, bright and vibrant illustrations.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Shape – both regular and irregular
  • Our own bodies
  • Our daily lives and routines
  • Love

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • What shape are the balloons on the front cover?
  • Is this really the shape of a heart? How do you know?
  • What animal is pictured on the cover?
  • If you had to choose out of: happy, scary and sad, which word do you think would best describe what this book will be like? What makes you think this?
  • What do you notice about the two a’s in the title?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/Why not?
  • What age group do you think this book is written for? What makes you think this?
  • What was your favourite page? Why?
  • Look around the room, what are some shapes you can see?
  • Why do you think the book ended with the shape of the heart?
  • Would you recommend this book to anyone we know? If so, who?

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